Brussels drops probe into Ryanair Slovakia aid

28th January 2010, Comments 0 comments

European regulators on Wednesday dropped a near two-year probe into state aid offered to Ryanair in Slovakia, saying the Irish low-cost carrier secured "no advantage."

BRUSSELS - The European Commission said a 2005 agreement between publicly-operated Bratislava Airport and Ryanair, that runs through until 2016, was "justified by a cost-benefit-analysis."

A statement said that analysis allows the competition watchdog "to conclude that in similar circumstances a private investor operating under normal market conditions would have entered into the same or a similar commercial arrangement as the airport operator."

They said inducements to Ryanair and other airlines operating out of the Slovak capital "increased its market value for its shareholders."

The commission has regularly probed Ryanair's tactics, which often saw it begin operations at regional airports that subsequently expanded massively through an upsurge in passenger traffic.

A regulatory ruling that Ryanair should return aid received in exchange for its implantation at Belgium's Charleroi airport was overturned in December 2008 by the European courts.


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