E+H has successfully represented Austrian Airlines before the General Court of the European Union in a state aid-related proceeding.
According to E+H, “the General Court of the European Union has dismissed as unfounded actions brought by Ryanair and Laudamotion against the state aid granted to Austrian Airlines, Austria’s leading airline. Ryanair and Laudamotion sued against the state aid of EUR 150 million granted by the Republic of Austria to Austrian Airlines, which was approved by the European Commission last year. This state aid compensated Austrian Airlines for losses resulting from worldwide travel restrictions during the Corona pandemic from early March to mid-June 2020. It was part of a total financing package worth EUR 600 million. This also included an equity injection of EUR 150 million from Austrian’s parent company Lufthansa and a state-guaranteed bank loan of EUR 300 million.”
According to the firm, “in contrast to its previous judgments on pandemic-related state aid to the German Condor, the Dutch KLM, and the Portuguese TAP, in which the General Court overturned the European Commission’s decisions because of deficiencies in the statement of reasons, the General Court in the present case considered the state aid to be compatible with the internal market. In particular, the General Court denied the alleged discrimination against Ryanair and Laudamotion. The General Court thus followed the reasoning of the European Commission, which was supported in the proceedings by the Republic of Austria, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Austrian Airlines as interveners. The decision of the General Court is not yet final – Ryanair and Laudamotion can now appeal to the European Court of Justice.”
E+H’s team included Partner Andreas Zellhofer and Attorney Florian Sagmeister.