Case Note: Case T-140/95 Ryanair v EC Commission – State Aid to Airlines

Judgment of the Court of First Instance given on 15 September 1998 Ryanair sought the annulment of a Commission decision in to permit under Article 93(2) of the EC Treaty payment of IR £50m state aid by the Irish Government to Aer Lingus in support of restructuring. This was the second tranche of a total IR £175m payment by the Irish Government. Ryanair argued that the Commission had made it a condition of the first tranche in 1993 that the second tranche would only be approved if annual cost savings of IR £50m had been achieved by the airline through the restructuring. When the Commission subsequently approved the second tranche, this condition had not been fulfilled. Ryanair argued that the Commission should have re-opened the Article 92(2) procedure before approving the aid in these circumstances. The CFI decided that this was not necessary. The Commission enjoyed a right “to manage and monitor” the implementation of state aid given over a period of time, and this included the right to reappraise conditions without reopening the approval procedure.

(Originally posted by Jason Campbell)

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