Language of document :

Action brought on 13 November 2020 – Ryanair and Laudamotion v Commission

(Case T-677/20)

Language of the case: English

Parties

Applicants: Ryanair DAC (Swords, Ireland) and Laudamotion GmbH (Schwechat, Austria) (represented by: E. Vahida, F. Laprévote, V. Blanc, S. Rating and I. Metaxas-Maranghidis, lawyers)

Defendant: European Commission

Form of order sought

The applicants claim that the Court should:

annul the European Commission’s decision (EU) of 6 July 2020 on State Aid SA.57539 (2020/N) – Austria – COVID-19 – Aid to Austrian Airlines 1 ; and

order the European Commission to pay the costs.

The applicants have also requested that their action be determined under the expedited procedure as referred to in Article 23a of the Statute of the Court of Justice.

Pleas in law and main arguments

In support of the action, the applicants rely on five pleas in law.

First plea in law, alleging that the European Commission failed to review possible aid to or from Lufthansa.

Second plea in law, alleging that the European Commission violated specific provisions of the TFEU and the general principles of European law regarding the prohibition of discrimination, free provision of services and free establishment that have underpinned the liberalisation of the air transport market in the EU. The liberalisation of air transport has allowed the growth of truly pan-European low-fares airlines. By authorising Austria to reserve the aid to Austrian Airlines, the European Commission ignored the damage caused to such pan-European airlines by the travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Third plea in law, alleging that the European Commission misapplied Article 107(2)(b) TFEU and committed manifest errors of assessment in its review of the proportionality of the aid to the damage caused by the travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 crisis, particularly by considering that all the damage caused by the COVID-19 crisis to AUA was the direct effect of travel restrictions and not verifying whether Austrian Airlines had mitigated all the avoidable costs.

Fourth plea in law, alleging that the European Commission failed to initiate a formal investigation procedure despite serious difficulties and violated the applicants’ procedural rights.

Fifth plea in law, alleging that the European Commission violated its duty to state reasons.

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1 European Commission’s decision (EU) of 6 July 2020 on State Aid SA.57539 (2020/N) – Austria – COVID-19 - Aid to Austrian Airlines (OJ 2020 C 346, p. 2)