Ryanair today (19 May) welcomed the EU General Court’s rulings that State aid measures favouring Air France-KLM and TAP were in breach of EU law. The enormous amounts of State aid received by each airline are set out below:
While the Covid-19 crisis has caused damage to all airlines that contribute to the economies and the connectivity of the Netherlands and Portugal, the governments of these countries decided to support only their national flag carriers. Ryanair appealed the European Commission’s approvals of these illegal State subsidies to the EU General Court in 2020.
Ryanair’s spokesperson said:
“One of the EU’s greatest achievements is the creation of a single market for air transport. The European Commission’s approvals of State aid to Air France-KLM and TAP went against the fundamental principles of EU law and reversed the clock on the process of liberalisation in air transport by rewarding inefficiency and encouraging unfair competition.
During the Covid-19 pandemic over €30bn in discriminatory State subsidies has been gifted to EU flag carriers. Unless halted by the EU Courts in line with today’s rulings, this State aid spree will distort the market for decades to come. If Europe is to emerge from this crisis with a functioning single market, airlines must be allowed to compete on a level playing field. Today’s rulings in 2 of more than 20 appeals filed to date before the General Court are an important victory for consumers and competition.”