Ryanair loses legal fight against French, Swedish airline state aid

"That aid scheme is appropriate for making good the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and does not constitute discrimination," the court said, referring to the French scheme. Regarding the Swedish scheme, the court said: "The scheme at issue is presumed to have been adopted in the interest of the European Union." Ryanair had taken issue with the European Commission for clearing a French scheme allowing airlines to defer certain aeronautical taxes and Sweden's loan guarantee scheme for airlines.

Reuters | Rome | Updated: 17-02-2021 16:35 IST | Created: 17-02-2021 16:10 IST
Ryanair loses legal fight against French, Swedish airline state aid
Representative image. Image Credit: Twitter (@Ryanair)

Ryanair on Wednesday lost its fight against state aid granted to flag carriers including rivals Air France and SAS after a top European court said such schemes amid the COVID-19 pandemic were not discriminatory. The judgments from the Luxembourg-based General Court is the first to deal with aid measures cleared by the European Commission under easier rules aimed at helping European Union governments prop up companies hit by the pandemic.

The court said the French and Swedish schemes were in line with the bloc's rules. "That aid scheme is appropriate for making good the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and does not constitute discrimination," the court said, referring to the French scheme.

Regarding the Swedish scheme, the court said: "The scheme at issue is presumed to have been adopted in the interest of the European Union." Ryanair had taken issue with the European Commission for clearing a French scheme allowing airlines to defer certain aeronautical taxes and Sweden's loan guarantee scheme for airlines. Both schemes benefited their flag carriers.

Europe's biggest budget carrier has filed 16 lawsuits against the 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. The cases are T-238/20 Ryanair v Commission and T-259/20 Ryanair v Commission.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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