Ryanair loses its appeal on access to aid investigation
RYANAIR has lost an appeal it took to the European Union's General Court after it had been denied access to information about investigations undertaken by the European Commission into state aid provided to airports.
In a decision handed down yesterday, the Luxembourg-based General Court said that the European Commission had been entitled to conclude that there had been "no overriding public interest justifying the disclosure of the documents" related to its probes into suspected state aid support cases.
Ryanair had sought details of investigations of state aid investigations undertaken by the Commission into Alghero airport on Sardinia, as well as Schoenefeld in Berlin, Lubeck airport in Hamburg, Bratislava airport in Slovakia, France's Pau airport close to the Pyrenees, and Aarhus airport in Denmark. Ryanair flies to all the destinations.
In a statement, Ryanair said that it regretted the decision not to grant access to the documents. It claimed the decision undermined its right to fair procedure. "This ruling highlights the urgent need for reform of the EU's procedures in state aid investigations, where currently companies such as Ryanair are deprived of their right to fair procedure and as fair defence," it added.
In 2008, Ryanair emerged victorious in its battle against a block placed on subsidies it had received at Belgium's Chaleroi airport by the European Commission.