The European Community Court of First Instance rules in favour of Ryanair in Charleroi State aid case

22 Dec 2008

Europe’s second highest court (the CFI) has today upheld Ryanair’s challenge to a European Commission Decision finding that Ryanair had benefited from unlawful State aid.

The Commission had decided that the landing charges and ground handling fees agreed between Ryanair and Brussels Charleroi airport were too low, and amounted to a subsidy of Ryanair by the Walloon Region of Belgium, which owned the airport.

The Court of First Instance has annulled the Commission’s decision. It holds that the Commission’s refusal to examine together the advantages granted by the Walloon Region and by Charleroi Airport, and to determine whether, taken together, those two entities acted as rational operators in a market economy, is vitiated by an error of law.

John Swift QC and Josh Holmes represented Ryanair.

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John Swift QC
Josh Holmes