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France blames aid for Norwegian Air for XL Airways collapse, seeks EU intervention

France blames aid for Norwegian Air for XL Airways collapse, seeks EU intervention
FILE PHOTO - An XL Airways Airbus A330-200 airplane lands at the Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Roissy-en-France, near Paris, France, September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol -
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PASCAL ROSSIGNOL(Reuters)
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PARIS (Reuters) – France believes state aid to budget carrier Norwegian Air <NWC.OL> was partly to blame for the bankruptcy of Paris-based rival XL Airways and will seek EU intervention, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday.

“Norwegian Air is undercutting prices while in debt and receiving public funding from Norway,” Le Maire said on LCI television, adding that support “partly explains” the difficulties that drove XL Airways into bankruptcy.

“That’s something I cannot accept because the rules of competition should be the same for everyone,” Le Maire said.

“I will therefore be writing to the European Commission this coming week to tell them to put these things in order.”

(Reporting by Laurence Frost; editing by Jason Neely)

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