BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Friday it had opened an in-depth investigation into marketing and financial deals between low cost carrier Ryanair <RYA.I> and Frankfurt-Hahn airport in Germany to assess whether it constituted illegal state aid.
“We will investigate whether regional and local authorities in Germany, against the rules, gave an unfair advantage to Ryanair over its competitors,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
Under the deal, Ryanair received between 2009 and 2017 training aid and funding for a crew and pilot school and for a maintenance hall, the Commission said.
The EU executive opened a similar investigation in July over a deal between Ryanair and the French airport of Montpellier [nS8N1SP04V]
The Commission said it will also investigate possible state aid to the airport operator Flughafengesellschaft Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH (FFHG), which between 2009 and 2017 was controlled by the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)