LONDON — The European Commission has announced today that they will be opening an in-depth investigation into marketing agreements held between Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair and France’s Association for the Promotion of Touristic and Economic Flows (APFTE) at Montpellier Airport.
The commissioner for the EU, Margrethe Vestager, said that the commission would place an investigation into whether regional and local authorities in France granted Ryanair an “undue economic advantage.”
These agreements are relating to deals made between Ryanair and APFTE since 2010 under which the carrier promoted Montpellier as a tourist destination.
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The investigation also follows after an allegation made to the two bodies that the marketing agreements amounted to the equivalent of illegal state subsidies.
Airways got in touch with Ryanair about these allegations. Ryanair’s Head of Communications, Robin Kiely, replied that “All of Ryanair’s airport arrangements comply fully with EU State aid rules and we are confident that the EU will find our Montpellier deal is in line with EU State aid rules.”
Ryanair seems confident that these marketing arrangements will be seen as legit and legal.
Whether they are illegal or not is something that the European Commission will have to determine once the investigation concludes.
However, this is yet another involvement for Ryanair with the Commission, after calling for action on the numerous ATC strikes across Europe the airline has had to battle.
For now, all Ryanair can do now is comply with the EU and hope that the marketing agreements do not amount to illegal state subsidies.