Iberia to complain to EU over Ryanair aid

14th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

14 October 2004, MADRID- Spanish airline Iberia may file a complaint against Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair at the European Commission on grounds that it has received illegal aid from regional governments in Spain, Iberia chief executive Angel Mullor said Thursday.

14 October 2004

MADRID- Spanish airline Iberia may file a complaint against Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair at the European Commission on grounds that it has received illegal aid from regional governments in Spain, Iberia chief executive Angel Mullor said Thursday.

He said Iberia was "in the process of gathering information" on assistance Ryanair has received from some of the country's autonomous regions to operate in regional airports.

"We will file a complaint as soon as we have enough elements for the case to be heard by the European Commission," he told reporters.

He said that in Santander in northern Spain, where Ryanair began operations last month, the airline has been accorded an annual subsidy of EUR 1.2 million ( USD 1.5 million) for three years.

In Catalonia in the northeast, according to Mullor, the regional government and local bodies such as the chamber of commerce reached an agreement in April to provide assistance to Ryanair worth EUR 6.2 million a year over two years in exchange for its commitment to operate from the Gerona-Costa Brava airport.

"There are low-cost companies that receive assistance - which is not very clear - from Spanish regional governments or enterprises linked to local and provincial administrations to encourage them to fly to these cities," Mullor said, describing the practice as inconsistent with "free competition".

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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