Ryanair on Wednesday lost its fight against the state aid granted to rivals including Air France and Sweden’s SAS after a top European court said such schemes were not discriminatory amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The judgment from the Luxembourg-based General Court is the first to deal with aid measures cleared by the European Commission under easier rules aimed at helping European Union governments prop up companies hit by the health crisis, reuters reported.
The court said the French and Swedish schemes were in line with the bloc’s rules. The airline industry has been one of the hardest-hit by virus-related restrictions and lockdowns imposed by governments worldwide.
Ryanair said it would appeal to the EU Court of Justice in a process likely to take several years.
Europe’s biggest budget airline has filed 16 lawsuits against the Commission for allowing state aid to individual airlines such as Lufthansa, KLM, Austrian Airlines and TAP, as well as national schemes that mainly benefit flag carriers.