Ryanair announced that it has filed a further complaint to the European Commission on Air France’s latest attempt to block competition from low fares airlines in France.Last month, Ryanair announced that it would base 2 new aircraft at Marseille Airport, which will serve 13 routes and deliver almost 1 million additional passengers annually to the airport, which equates to a 100 million euros in savings to French consumers and visitors to France off the high fares of Air France.
However, Air France announced today that it had filed an action in the French Conseille d’Etat against Marseille Airport in an attempt to block Ryanair’s use of this new low cost terminal - despite the fact that the tariff for using this facility is published and has been agreed by the French Civil Aviation Authority.
Commenting today on this latest abuse by Air France, Ryanair’s Head of Regulatory Affairs, Jim Callaghan, said:
“This is the latest in a long line of abuses by Air France to protect their strangle-hold on the French market:
1. Air France succeeded in blocking competition from Ryanair on the London to Strasbourg route. The result has been predictable, Air France is again ripping off consumers with ?800 return fares and passenger numbers have plummeted from 20,000 per month to just over 2,000.
2. Air France also blocked competition from easyJet in Bale-Mulhouse by again resorting to the local courts.
3. Now Air France is trying to prevent Ryanair from using lower cost facilities in Marseille Provence Airport, which were offered to Air France but were rejected.
“Ryanair has therefore today submitted a further complaint to the
European Commission against Air France on the basis of an abuse of
dominance under the European competition rules. In no other European
member state does the national airline hold such a dominant position and
engage in such abusive practices in order to block competition.
“Last month, Ryanair filed a complaint to the European Commission
regarding approximately 1 billion euros worth of state aid that Air France
has received from the French Government in the form of subsidised
domestic landing and passenger fees. This illegal state aid has enabled
Air France to dominate the French market and force smaller competitors
off the market.
“If Jean-Cyrille Spinetta is truly concerned about “equality”, then he
1. have accepted Marseille Airport’s offer of lower cost, efficient facilities
instead of abusing the French Court system to prevent competition.
2. stop ripping off French consumers and start charging the same fares as
3. start paying the same landing fees on domestic traffic as Ryanair has to pay
on international flights instead of receiving illegal subsidies from the
“We are calling on the European Commission to put an end to Air France’s
abusive practices in the French market and to promote competition from
low fares airlines, which have been successful in bringing low fares,
competition and choice to every other European Member State, except