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Sardinian airports: backward step of Brussels

In 2016 it ordered Italy to recover aid granted to some air carriers

After the ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Commission has now also partially withdrawn its 2016 decision which ordered Italy to recover the money granted to some air carriers as a form of aid to ensure continuity territorial (ie airline tickets at reduced prices for those who live or work on the island) in the three Sardinian airports of Olbia, Alghero and Cagliari.

The European Commission will now assess the public support granted to the low-cost airlines easyJet, Volotea and Ryanair under European State aid rules, in light of the guidelines provided by the Court of Justice. In particular, Brussels will assess that the aid granted to the companies does not go beyond what a private operator would be willing to offer in the same circumstances, on the basis of the methodology established by the judges.

In July 2016, the Commission established that the support granted by Italy to some companies operating at Sardinian airports was incompatible with European state aid rules. Four airlines (easyJet, Volotea, Ryanair, Germanwings) then appealed the decision. Thus in November 2022 the European Court of Justice partially annulled the decision: the Commission did not demonstrate that Italy had granted an undue advantage to easyJet and Volotea, while the decision on Ryanair is awaited.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency