Aviation, Ryanair, Finnair, Sas, Eu

Aviation, Ryanair

Ryanair loses court challenges to SAS, Finnair state aid in new setbacks

Ryanair loses court challenges to SAS, Finnair state aid in new setbacks

14/4/2021 1:43:00 PM

Ryanair loses court challenges to SAS , Finnair state aid in new setbacks

BRUSSELS: Ryanair on Wednesday (Apr 14) had another setback in its fight against state aid for rival airlines after Europe's second-highest court ...

BusinessA Ryanair Boeing 737-800 airplane takes off from the airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on Jul 29, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Paul Hanna)14 Apr 2021 06:09PMShare this contentBookmarkBRUSSELS: Ryanair on Wednesday (Apr 14) had another setback in its fight against state aid for rival airlines after Europe's second-highest court again backed EU competition regulators' approval of support for SAS and Finnair.

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Europe's biggest budget airline has filed 16 lawsuits against the European Commission for allowing state aid to individual airlines such as Lufthansa, KLM, Austrian Airlines and TAP, as well as national schemes that mainly benefit flag carriers.Advertisement

AdvertisementThe EU competition watchdog has to date cleared more than €3 trillion (US$3.6 trillion) to help virus-hit companies across the 27-country bloc. The airline industry has been among the hardest hit due to lockdowns and travel restrictions.The Luxembourg-based General Court said aid granted to SAS and Finnair complied with the bloc's state aid rules. headtopics.com

Its judgments echoed its Feb 17 ruling upholding state aid granted to rivals including Air France and SAS."Given that SAS's market share is much higher than that of its closest competitor in those two member states, the aid does not amount to unlawful discrimination," the Court said.

AdvertisementAdvertisementJudges said the Finnair state loan guarantee was necessary in order to remedy the serious disturbance in the Finnish economy in view of the importance of the carrier for that economy.Ryanair said in a statement that it would appeal.

"Today's judgments set the process of liberalisation in air transport back by 30 years," the company said in a statement. Read more: CNA »

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