BRUSSELS, July 14 (Reuters) – Ryanair (RYA.I) on Wednesday lost its protest against EU-approved state aid to Austrian Airlines, ending a brief string of successful cases introduced then that governments were supporting their national companies during the pandemic.
Europe’s largest low-cost airline has launched 16 lawsuits against the European Commission for authorizing billions of euros in state aid to individual airlines affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to Austrian, these carriers include the Austrian parent company Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) and the Portuguese company TAP (TAPA.UL).
Ryanair lodged its grievance in Luxembourg court, the second highest court in Europe, after the European competition authority approved Vienna’s decision to grant aid to Austrian Airlines in June 2020.
“The aid granted by Austria to Austrian Airlines to compensate it for the damage resulting from the cancellation or postponement of its flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic is compatible with the internal market”, ruled on Wednesday the tribunal.
‘This aid, having been deducted from the subsidies granted, in the same context, by Germany to the Lufthansa group, which also includes Austrian Airlines, does not constitute overcompensation in favor of this group. “
Ryanair has announced that it will appeal to the EU Court of Justice (CJEU), the highest court in Europe.
The Court ruled this year in favor of Ryanair in its appeals against the aid granted to the German charter company Condor, KLM and TAP.
He launched protests against aid to SAS (SAS.ST), Finnair (FIA1S.HE) and Air France (AIRF.PA).
The case is T-677/20 Ryanair & Laudamotion v Commission (Austrian Airlines; Covid-19).
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Conor Humphries in Dublin; edited by Kirsten Donovan Louise Heavens and Jason Neely
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