Ryanair has condemned the EU Commission’s DG Transport for its “ongoing politically biased application of the state aid rules”.Ryanair released the following statement:
“DG Transport announced yet another baseless state aid investigation into Ryanair’s arms length agreement with Frankfurt Hahn Airport, an airport privately owned by Fraport. This is now the 8th politically motivated investigation (against a Ryanair airport - 9th including Charleroi).
While this vendetta against Ryanair continues, billions of euro in state aid to flag carrier airlines like Alitalia, Olympic, Air France and Lufthansa continue to be ignored or rubber stamped by DG Transport. Ryanair has been forced to take seven separate actions in the Court of First Instance due to DG Transport’s failure to apply its own state aid rules against ongoing illegal subsidies to Air France (50% discounted domestic charges in France); Lufthansa (for its state funded loss making terminal in Munich); and blatant and repeated breaches of the state aid rules by the Italian government - with their annual subsidy being disguised as a €300m. “loan” to the bankrupt Alitalia.”
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 €300m. “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 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.”