Ryanair condemns EU Commission’s latest abuse of the state aid rules- June 19, 2008

Ryanair has condemned the EU Commission’s DG Transport for its ongoing politically biased application of the state aid rules. According to Ryanair, DG Transport announced yet another baseless state aid investigation into Ryanair’s agreement with Frankfurt Hahn Airport, an airport privately owned by Fraport. Ryanair stated this is now the 8th politically motivated investigation against a Ryanair airport �� 9th including Charleroi.

Ryanair’s Director of Legal & Regulatory Affairs, Jim Callaghan, said

“This investigation into the privately owned Hahn Airport, which has been a model for development of unutilised regional and secondary airports, makes it clear that DG Transport has no intention of fairly enforcing the state aid rules in air transport. It has repeatedly failed to take any action against blatant abuses of the state aid rules by national governments to protect their flag carrier airlines, such as the most recent EUR300 million “loan” to Alitalia, but is instead misusing the state aid rules in a politically motivated vendetta to block competition from low fares airlines at low cost regional and secondary airports like Frankfurt Hahn and Charleroi. Ryanair has today called on Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, to take immediate action to end DG Transport’s politically motivated enforcement of the state aid rules. It is high time that the Commission started to support the positive development of regional and secondary airports around Europe instead of misapplying the state aid rules to block this development, while turning a blind eye to the continuing illegal state subsidies being doled out to flag carriers such as Air France, Lufthansa, Olympic and Alitalia.”

© Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. Date posted: 19-Jun-08

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