State aid: Brussels is asking Ryanair to pay back 8.4 million euros to France
The low-cost airline has claimed state aid that is “incompatible with EU rules”, the EU Commission ruled on Tuesday.
Ryanair needs to checkout. The European Commission decided on Tuesday that the low-cost airline has received state aid.not compatible with EU regulations‘, relating to La Rochelle airport (Charente-Maritime), between 2003 and 2010. It is asking France to recover its amount from Ryanair, ie 8.4 million euros. The same fate for the British low-cost company Jet2, which has to repay 81,000 euros in illegal state aid to France.
After an investigation launched ten years ago, Brussels estimated in 2012 that “several airport service contracts and marketing service contracts that La Rochelle Airport signed between 2003 and 2010 with the airlines Ryanair and Jet2failed to comply with the state aid framework. These public subsidies (low airport taxes, commissions based on results, payments for marketing services…) are actually approved so that airports or regional authorities “attract budget airlines“, but “subject to certain conditions“.
“An unjustified economic advantage»
However, Brussels ruled that these were not complied with under certain contracts between La Rochelle Airport and the airlines between 2003 and 2010. She “gives Ryanair and Jet2 an unjustified economic advantage over their competitors, as a for-profit airport operator would never have agreed to grant these airlines similar conditions in the same circumstanceswrites the Commission.
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On the other hand, the Commission found several other aid measures granted by France to La Rochelle airport between 2001 and 2012 to be compatible. Others did not constitute state aid, Brussels said. The Commission also published its decision on state aid to Beauvais (Oise) Airport on Friday, as well as discounts and marketing deals between the airport and its customer airlines. None of these contracts and grants were found to be incompatible with European regulations.
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