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EU court rejects Ryanair challenges over airline subsidies

The EU General Court handed down two similar decisions two months ago in different cases involving France and Sweden.

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Ryanair had argued that the aid constituted unfair state bailouts for national carriers (Rui Vieira/PA)

Ryanair had argued that the aid constituted unfair state bailouts for national carriers (Rui Vieira/PA)

Ryanair had argued that the aid constituted unfair state bailouts for national carriers (Rui Vieira/PA)

A top European Union court has rejected Ryanair’s arguments that the aid Sweden, Denmark and Finland gave to two other airlines to get through the Covid-19 crisis was illegal.

The Luxembourg-based EU General Court said the subsidies Denmark and Sweden granted to Scandinavian carrier SAS “comply with EU law”.

It said likewise of a Finnish loan guarantee for Finnair.

The General Court handed down two similar decisions two months ago in different cases involving France and Sweden.

Confirms for the first time the legality of individual aid measures adopted in order to address the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemicCourt statement

The EU’s executive arm, the European Commission, which polices state aid and other competition issues, has approved several aid plans for struggling airline companies in the wake of the pandemic, especially after border closures and other restrictions halted most air travel.

Low-cost carrier Ryanair had argued that the aid constituted unfair state bailouts for national carriers.

A statement from the court on the SAS ruling said it “confirms for the first time the legality of individual aid measures adopted in order to address the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

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The rulings of the General Court can be appealed against on points of law only.


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