· European General Court (EGC) dismisses complaint by Ryanair and Laudamotion
· State aid not a case of discrimination
· Judgment is not yet final
Today, the European General Court (EGC) dismissed the complaint brought by Ryanair and Laudamotion against the state aid approval for Austrian Airlines. The two airlines sued against the state aid of 150 million euros to Austrian Airlines approved by the European Commission last year. According to the EGC ruling, this measure does not discriminate against Ryanair and Laudamotion. The state aid to Austrian Airlines for the damage caused during the pandemic therefore complies with EU law. Ryanair and Laudamotion can still challenge this ruling before the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
The state aid of 150 million euros last year was part of a total financing package worth 600 million euros. This also included an equity grant of 150 million euros from Austrian Airlines' parent company Lufthansa and a state-guaranteed bank loan of 300 million euros.
The ruling by the European General Court allows Austrian Airlines to continue flying high. The aid of 150 million euros approved in July 2020 was and is still necessary to safeguard Austria's largest aviation company with more than 6,000 employees and to maintain Austria's international connections via the Vienna hub in the long term.