Dutch To Flout EC Ruling On Air Aid?

UK airlines can expect no special favours from Brussels following the post-11 September downturn in passenger numbers, European Commission vice-president Loyola de Palacio said in London yesterday.

UK airlines can expect no special favours from Brussels following the post-11 September downturn in passenger numbers, European Commission vice-president Loyola de Palacio said in London yesterday.


There was no question of the EC budging from its fixed position of opposition to state aid for ailing industries, she added. Speaking at a lunch for transport and business journalists in London, Ms. Palacio reminded everyone that Sabena had not been allowed to receive state aid and it would be unfair to help anyone else.


Ms Palacio said, “The European aviation sector was experiencing difficulties and needed restructuring even before September 11. We have 14 national flag carrier airlines in Europe. It is clear that this number is not sustainable in the future. Soon, we are going to see a re-organisation of the aviation sector in Europe. We must stop thinking in terms of national carriers and think instead in terms of European carriers.”


However, according to a report from Reuters, the Dutch government plans to support Dutch airlines to the tune of NLG 50 million (USD 19.94 million, EUR 22.69 million). Marco Zoon, a spokesman for the Dutch finance ministry said “The subject will be discussed by the cabinet today. (It plans) to set aside the money as support for the airlines. It is not a full compensation.”

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