Ryanair loses legal fight against French, Swedish airline state aid

BRUSSELS, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Ryanair on Wednesday lost its fight against state aid granted to virus-hit rivals Air France and SAS via national schemes after Europe’s second-top court backed EU competition regulators who had allowed the support under loosened rules.

“That aid scheme is appropriate for making good the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and does not constitute discrimination,” the Luxembourg-based General Court said, referring to the French scheme.

It said the Swedish scheme was compatible with EU laws.

Europe’s biggest budget carrier has filed 16 lawsuits against the European Commission for allowing state aid to individual airlines such as Lufthansa, KLM, Austrian Airlines and TAP, as well as national schemes that mainly benefit flag carriers. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)