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Air France accuses Ryanair of underhand tactics

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-03-11

Air France has leveled charges of unfair trading practices against the Irish budget airline Ryanair. For its part, Ryanair denied the charge.

AFP - Air France said Thursday that it had filed a complaint with the European Commission against Ryanair, accusing the Irish budget airline of unfair trading practices.

The airline alleges Ryanair had made the opening of new routes in France conditional on receiving financial incentives from local officials and argued that this "was in direct violation of European regulations."
"Air France filed a complaint with the European Commission in late November 2009 concerning the aid measures implemented by regional and local French airports to the benefit of the Ryanair air company," Air France said.
The firm claimed the Irish budget airline received 660 million euros (900 million dollars) worth of aid across Europe in 2008 in the form of reduced landing fees and airport taxes, Le Figaro daily reported.
Ryanair denied it was getting illegal subsidies, with a spokesman saying: "It's Air France that is getting illegal aid in terms of reduced airport taxes on its domestic routes in France."
The European Commission has over recent years opened several investigations following allegations that Ryanair was getting preferential treatment.
But in 2008, the low-cost airline won a major victory when a European anti-trust court overturned a Brussels decision that would have forced Ryanair to reimburse aid received from a regional airport in Belgium.


Date created : 2010-03-11