Ryanair

Ryanair has lost its latest challenge to the EU General Court on state aid for national flagship airlines, SAS and Finnair, which it says breach EU laws on unfair subsidies.

In the case of Finnair, a court statement claimed that that aid is “necessary in order to remedy the serious disturbance in the Finnish economy in view of the importance of Finnair for that economy”.

Regarding SAS, the court said that state aid given by Sweden and Denmark was legal, considering that the airline has the largest market share in both countries, and doesn’t have any significant rivals.

Ryanair comments that “the EU Commission’s spineless approach to state aid since the beginning of the COVID crisis has allowed Member States to write open-ended cheques to their inefficient zombie flag carriers in the name of faded national prestige”.

Additionally, subsidies, it said, “encourage inefficiency and will harm customers for decades to come”. 

Ryanair “will now ask the EU Court of Justice to overturn these unfair subsidies in the interests of competition and consumers”, it said.

The news comes as Times of Malta on Wednesday reported that Malta has asked for the European Commission to give it permission to pump €290 million into the struggling state flagship airline Air Malta. 

In February, the airline’s chairman David Curmi confirmed a “very bad” situation for the company and said he remained confident about prospective state aid. 

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