Joined CJEU Cases T-34/21 & T-87/21 | Ryanair v Commission & Condor Flugdienst v Commission

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Publication Date 2021-2023
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Information Guide concerning Cases T-34/21 and T-87/21 from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), concerning a decision of the European Commission approving the recapitalisation of Lufthansa by Germany in the context of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Further information:

In June 2020, the German government notified the European Commission of a decision to provide aid in the form of a recapitalisation of €6 billion euros granted to Deutsche Lufthansa AG. The recapitalisation, part of a wider series of support measures for the Lufthansa Group, was intended to restore the balance sheet position and liquidity of the undertakings in that group in the exceptional situation caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Without initiating the formal investigation procedure provided for in Article 108(2) TFEU, the Commission classified the measure as State aid that was compatible with the internal market under Article 107(3) TFEU and the Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy during the pandemic.

The airlines Ryanair DAC and Condor Flugdienst GmbH brought two actions for annulment of that decision. In a ruling delivered on 10 May 2023, the actions were upheld by the General Court of the CJEU. The Court ruled that the Commission had committed several errors, in particular, by considering that Lufthansa was unable to obtain financing on the markets for the entirety of its needs, by failing to require a mechanism incentivising Lufthansa to buy back Germany's shareholding as quickly as possible, by denying that Lufthansa held significant market power at certain airports, and by various commitments that did not ensure that effective competition on the market was preserved.

Related Links
Deutsche Welle, 10/05/2023: EU court annuls approval of state aid for Lufthansa
EurActiv, 10/05/2023: EU Court rules against Commission in Lufthansa state aid case
Euronews, 10/05/2023: EU court annuls approval of Germany's COVID-19 state aid for Lufthansa
Associated Press (AP News), 10/05/2023: Court annuls EU approval of billions for Lufthansa, SAS
Reuters, 10/05/2023: Lufthansa suffers blow as EU court backs Ryanair challenge against bailout
Bloomberg, 10/05/2023: Ryanair Wins EU Fight Over Covid Aid for Lufthansa, SAS
RTÉ News, 10/05/2023: EU court backs Ryanair's challenge against Lufthansa state bailout
The Irish Times, 10/05/2023: EU court backs Ryanair’s challenge against Lufthansa state bailout

CJEU CURIA: Case T-34/21 | Ryanair v Commission (Lufthansa ; COVID-19)
CJEU CURIA: Case T-87/21 | Condor Flugdienst v Commission (Lufthansa ; COVID-19)
CJEU: Press Release No 75/23, 10/05/2023: Judgment of the General Court in Joined Cases T-34/21 | Ryanair v Commission and T-87/21 | Condor Flugdienst v Commission (Lufthansa; COVID-19)
European Commission: Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager following today's Court judgments on the Lufthansa and SAS State aid cases (10 May 2023)
Ryanair: News, 10/05/2023: Ryanair welcomes EU Court rulings on Lufthansa and SAS state aid

ESO Records
State Aid case SA.57153 | COVID-19 – Aid to Lufthansa

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