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Ryanair offers tickets for court support

Published on 05/12/2003

STRASBOURG, France, Dec 5 (AFP) - Irish low-cost airline Ryanair has put 1,000 free plane tickets on offer to people who will turn out to support it at a French court case which threatens its London-Strasbourg service.

An advertisement for the free tickets appeared in the east French newspaper L’Alsace on Thursday with the message: “Fight Air France’s high prices. Ryanair is campaigning to bring the prices down in Strasbourg.”

The company is to have an appeal heard at a court in Nancy, northeast France on Tuesday in which it challenges an earlier verdict that decided that Strasbourg’s publicly funded chamber of commerce had illegally subsidised Ryanair’s services to and from London.

The case is seen as a forerunner to a wider investigation by EU competition authorities into subsidies Ryanair received from the Belgian airport Charleroi. A finding against the company in that matter could put an end to Ryanair’s current business model.

A spokeswoman for Ryanair, Carole Arnaud-Battandier, said the free ticket offer was to show that “Ryanair is working to make air traffic available to all” and so that “the people (in Strasbourg) feel more involved.”

The communications director for the company, Paul Fitzsimmons, said:

“Ryanair and Strasbourg airport are determined to win this legal battle, reestablish Ryanair’s low prices in Strasbourg and end Air France’s monopoly and high prices.”


Subject: French news