Commission investigated deals between airport and Ryanair
After an in-depth investigation opened in 2012, the European Commission has approved aid granted by Sweden to the operator of Västerås Airport in the form of capital injections from the town’s local authority and under a national scheme for aid to regional airports.
The commission assessed the aid, which was granted over the period 2000-2010, as operating aid under the 2014 Aviation Guidelines. It found that the aid was limited to the minimum necessary to ensure the airport’s economic viability and did not give rise to undue distortions of competition.
The aid was found to contribute to the achievement of an objective of common interest in improving the accessibility, connectivity and regional development of the region around the airport.
The commission also investigated agreements between the airport and Ryanair in 2001-2011. It found that the deals “could have been reasonably expected to improve the financial situation of the airport when they were entered into and therefore did not give Ryanair any undue economic advantage over their competitors”. The contracts did not entail state aid to Ryanair, the commission concluded.
The ruling was one of seven decisions made by the European Commission yesterday on public aid to airports and airlines – see related story.
[pictured: Västerås Airport]