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Brussels rejects appeal against covid aid in Spain

Low-cost airline judicial action rejected

An appeal by the low-cost airline Ryanair against the 10 billion euros of state aid to Iberian airlines provided by the Spanish government during the Covid-19 pandemic has been rejected. The decision was taken in these hours by the Court of Justice of the European Union (Cjeu). The court of second instance then confirmed the ruling of the first instance judges of the General Court.

These are the facts. In 2020 the Spanish executive, led by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, had established a fund to give economic support to Spanish companies considered of strategic importance for the nation. The aim was to help companies that were in temporary difficulty due to the pandemic, and which for this reason risked bankruptcy. Among these there were also numerous airlines. The European Commission approved this aid on 31 July 2020.

Ryanair's management had appealed to European judges, arguing that this fund exceeded the limits set by state aid, posing an obstacle to free competition in the air transport market. On 19 May 2021 the General Court ruled against the Irish low-cost company. Ryanair had appealed the decision. The Court of Justice definitively closed the case: the aid was proportionate and non-discriminatory.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency