(01 October 2014) – The European Commission has adopted seven decisions concerning public support granted to airports and airlines in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Sweden.
In particular, the Commission has concluded that the airports of Zweibrücken (Germany) and Charleroi (Belgium) received state aid which was incompatible with EU rules and must now be recovered.
In addition, the Commission has opened an in-depth investigation concerning state financial support granted to certain airlines flying from Bruxelles-National airport (Zaventem).
As regards financial support to airports, the Commission has taken into consideration the importance of those airports for local accessibility and economic development as well as the need to prevent or redress undue harm to competing airports. In line with these principles, the Commission has fully approved the state aid granted to the airports of Frankfurt-Hahn and Saarbrücken in Germany, Alghero in Italy and Västerås in Sweden.
The Commission has also found that certain agreements concluded by the managers of Zweibrücken and Alghero airports procured the beneficiary airlines an undue economic advantage which they need to pay back.
For Västerås, Frankfurt-Hahn, Saarbrücken and Charleroi airports, the Commission concluded that the relevant airlines – notably Ryanair – received no undue advantage, because they paid a price higher than the additional costs borne by the airport as a result of the activities covered by the agreements.