EU Court Backs Ryanair Again On State Aid To COVID-Hit Airlines

Europe’s second-top court on Wednesday 24 May backed Ryanair’s challenge against an Italian state aid, approved by the European Union, for airlines hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, siding again with the Irish airline on this issue.

“Failed To Provide A Statement Of Reasons”

“The Commission failed to provide a statement of reasons for its finding that the measure at issue was not contrary to EU law provisions other than those governing state aid,” the Luxembourg-based General Court said on Wednesday 24 May.

Previously Ruled In Ryanair’s Favor

Two weeks ago, the court already ruled in Ryanair’s favor in cases involving pandemic state aid measures for competitors Lufthansa and SAS.

State Aid To Certain Airlines Holding An Italian License

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In October 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic which brought travel to a virtual standstill, Italy had notified the European Commission of a €130 million state aid to certain airlines holding an Italian licence.

“Not Been Done Here”

“According to settled case-law, a decision not to initiate the formal investigation procedure in respect of notified aid must set out the reasons for which the Commission takes the view that it is not faced with serious difficulties in assessing the compatibility of the aid at issue with the internal market,” the court said in a statement.

“The General Court finds that that has not been done here.”

Case Name

The case is T-268/21 Ryanair v Commission.

Read more: Ryanair Predicts Strong Summer After Near-Record Annual Profit

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