Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline today (Wed 10 Feb) called on the European Commission to reject plans for further discriminatory State aid from the French Government to Air France. This chronically inefficient airline already received a blockbuster €7bn subsidy package in 2020 and should not receive further Government support.
Should yet another enormous and illegal State aid bailout occur, then effective remedies must be applied to ensure fair competition in the French market and to protect the interests of the French consumer / visitor. This must include Air France giving up a substantial number of its take-off and landing slots at key French airports including Paris Charles De Gaulle, Paris Orly and Lyon.
Ryanair is ready to operate some or all of this capacity (if a competitive tender is run for their slots), to provide meaningful competition and choice vs. Air France and to assist French passengers / visitors to access lower fares.
A Spokesperson for Ryanair said:
“The EU must put an end to this flood of discriminatory multi-billion euro bailouts to inefficient legacy airlines which will distort the Single European market and eliminate fair and effective competition.
Commissioner Vestager must stand firm in her discussions with the French Government. Either Air France gets no State aid or proper remedies should be put in place to ensure a fair and level playing field for all airlines. This must include Air France giving up capacity at key French airports. The 24 daily slots at Paris Orly referenced in some media reports is not enough and the Commission must go further.
Ryanair is ready to provide the competition, choice and low cost travel that French consumers / visitors deserve”.