Ryanair scores win in battle against airline aid

Ryanair has won a rare victory in its battle against state aid payments to rival airlines.

Europe’s General Court on Wednesday (May 19) annulled support given to KLM of the Netherlands, and Portugal’s TAP.

It said the European Commission hadn’t provided sufficient reasoning to support approving the payments.

Though the Luxembourg-based court said the annulments would be suspended pending new decisions by the Commission.

Ryanair will be able to challenge those decisions at the same court if it isn’t satisfied.

The EU last year cleared a bailout for KLM valued at $4.15 billion.

TAP got a loan worth around a third of that sum.

In a statement Wednesday, Ryanair said the aid was contrary to European law, and put back the process of liberalizing air transport.

The same court has, however, previously backed aid for carriers including SAS, Finnair and KLM’s partner, Air France.

Now the European Commission says it will study the rulings before deciding its next steps.

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