Ryanair questions Alitalia bail out

24th Apr 2008

Ryanair has called on the European Commission to stop a further €300m unlawful state aid for Alitalia.Ryanair believes that Alitalia has already received over €5bn in unlawful state aid, but that the European Commission has turned a blind eye and is doing nothing. Ryanair suggests that without such illegal state aid, Alitalia which loses almost €1m a day would have gone bankrupt years ago.

Speaking today, Ryanair’s Head of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Jim Callaghan said:

“Alitalia’s latest €300m bailout makes a mockery of EU State Aid rules. Propping up an inefficient national airline, which would have gone bankrupt long ago is simply illegal. Continued unlawful subsidies are allowing Alitalia to ignore its debts and rack up losses with abandon.

“The European Commission’s repeated failure to enforce its own State Aid rules in the case of Alitalia provides more evidence that it applies one set of rules for rule breaking flag carrier airlines but another discriminatory set of rules for Ryanair. The Commission has still failed to take any action on Ryanair’s 3 year old state aid complaints about Alitalia, Air France, Lufthansa, Olympic and Volare, however it is pursuing 7 baseless investigations about Ryanair’s open pro competitive deals at tiny regional European airports.

“We are again today, calling on the Commission to stop ignoring this state aid scandal and to start applying its own state aid and competition rules fairly”.



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