Ryanair lays EU aid complaint over Air France-KLM at Schipol
Ryanair said it has filed a complaint with the European Commission against what it claimed is unfair Dutch state aid for Amsterdam's Schipol Airport and Air France-KLM.
PARIS, February 28, 2008 - Irish low-cost airline Ryanair said Wednesday
it has filed a complaint with the European Commission against what it claimed
is unfair Dutch state aid for Amsterdam's Schipol Airport and Air France-KLM.
It said this state aid amounted to more than 400 million euros (600 million
dollars) annually, being effectively paid because transfer passengers at
Schipol are exempt from an Eco-Tax on travel.
"While Schiphol is effectively the only Dutch airport handling transfer
passengers, Air France-KLM accounts for 95 percent of the transfer traffic at
the airport," Jim Callaghan, Ryanair's head of regulatory affairs said in a
"This tax exemption is almost exclusively benefiting Schiphol and the Air
France-KLM monopoly," Callaghan charged.
He said the exemption should be ended or failing that, extended to all
airline passengers -- both travellers in transit and those on point-to-point
direct flights leaving Schipol.
A spokesman for Schipol told AFP that the airport itself objected to the
tax exemption "because it harms competition ... and is against international
The airport has submitted a complaint against the tax exemption to the
authorities which will be heard early next month.