Ryanair Appeal To EU Court Against SAS State Aid Got Rejected

The European Union's top court has rejected an appeal by Ryanair against state aid granted to the Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Appeal

Ryanair, Europe's largest budget airline, had launched a series of lawsuits against the European Commission for approving billions of euros in state aid to its rivals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting travel restrictions. The airline had contested the EU's approval of two separate aid measures pledged by Denmark and Sweden in favor of SAS.


The Ruling

The Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) endorsed the EU competition watchdog, concurring with a judgment by a lower tribunal in 2021 that upheld the EU decision. The court definitively dismissed Ryanair's actions concerning the loan guarantees put in place by Sweden and Denmark in April 2020.


Previous Court Challenges

The Irish airline has filed more than a dozen lawsuits against billions of euros in what it said was unfair state aid granted to airlines across the 27-country European Union and approved by the European Commission. Some of the law challenges were a win for Ryanair, like in the case of the Italian government aid, and the law case of Lufthansa bail-out. But Ryanair lost its court challenge against Finnair state aid.

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This ruling is a setback for Ryanair, which has filed more than two dozen challenges to EU approvals for pandemic aid doled out by governments to carriers. It has a mixed record so far, winning some of its challenges and losing others. The decision underscores the complex dynamics of state aid and competition within the aviation industry, particularly in light of the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In conclusion, while this ruling is a blow to Ryanair, it also provides some clarity on the EU's stance on state aid to airlines during times of crisis. It remains to be seen how this will impact future legal challenges and the competitive landscape within the European aviation industry.

Read More: 

- EU Court of Justice rules in favor of Ryanair's challenge against Lufthansa bailout

Ryanair wins latest challenge against aid to COVID-hit airlines

Ryanair loses court challenge against Finnair state aid

Endless Possibilities

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