Hot news on State Aid for airlines
Today, Budget airline Ryanair, as well as charter company Condor, won an EU court case, which annulled the European Commission's decision to approve German state aid given to Lufthansa Group.
RyanAir succesfully contested against billions of euros in state aid granted to its rivals to support them through the coronavirus crisis.
As RyanAir said in a statement: "If Europe is to emerge from this crisis with a functioning single market, the European Commission must stand up to national governments and stop rubberstamping discriminatory state aid to inefficient national airlines,"
Although the European Commission has a margin of discretion with regard to economic matters, that does not mean that they must refrain from reviewing the Commission’s interpretation of information of an economic nature. Not only must they establish, in particular, whether the evidence relied on is factually accurate, reliable and consistent but also whether that evidence contains all the information which must be taken into account in order to assess a complex situation and whether it is capable of substantiating the conclusions drawn from it. It is in the light of those considerations that the applicants’ arguments concerning various aspects of the commitments at issue must be examined.
In this specific case, it follows from all the considerations by the General Court, that the contested decision is vitiated by several errors or irregularities. As a consequence, the contested decision of the European Commission, as rectified by the correcting decision, regarding State Aid to Lufthansa, is annulled.
Read the press release of the judgment: