Ryanair has expressed its “dismay” at a French court judgment that it cannot continue flying to Strasbourg pending the results of an appeal about subsidies on the route.
The Nancy Court of Appeals rejected the low cost airline’s bid for a stay on the decision of the Administrative Tribunal in Strasbourg which said a deal between the airline and the operators of Strasbourg airport was illegal and would have to stop on September 24.
Ryanair is appealing the Tribunal’s ruling - a process that could take up to a year - and had hoped that it could continue flying until the outcome of the appeal was known.
The airline’s head of regulatory affairs Jim Callaghan, said: “We will now have to suspend the route pending the outcome of the appeal, which could take over a year to be heard. In the meantime, French consumers and UK visitors to the Alsace region will suffer. Strasbourg Airport will continue to decline with the loss of 200,000 passengers delivered by Ryanair.”
It follows legal action brought by Air France’s subsidiary Brit Air which argued that the subsidies Ryanair received on the route amounted to unfair competition.
Ryanair will now fly to Germany`s Baden Baden airport, 40km from Strasbourg.
Other Ryanair flights into France may now come under scrutiny. The European Commission is also investigating its flights to and from Charleroi airport in Belgium and earlier this week the Danish authorities told Aarhus Airport that it must charge Ryanair the standard airport fee instead of a reduced rate.