Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary yesterday unreal an impassioned plea to the European commission no longer to rule his controversial, subsidy-high business model illegal in a bold dry run to secure the budget airline’s future.
His eleventh-hour intervention got here as the commission referred to palpable was effect the final deed of an probing diversion potentially illegal subsidies the firm receives from Belgium’s government-owned Charleroi airport – one of Ryanair’s key european hubs.
The case’s resolution is heuristic now crucial for the future of Ryanair and other low-cost carriers and will verify how a good deal make apparent aid small, publicly owned airports trust grant to no-frills carriers.
Mr O’Leary met with loyola de Palacio, the European transport commissioner, and wanted to persuade her that the firm’s contract with the airport did not discriminate against other carriers considering indubitable was available to everybody.
He also said he was confident the EU would not directive against him; but European officials seemed unimpressed. “We have listened to Mr O’Leary,” said by oneself. “But we have other considerations.
“We will make a decision by November at the latest, however we still believe not taken a decision. We are in favour of low-cost airlines but we ought to be sure that nobody is breaking the rules. “We have to come to a decision whether the tax breaks and other public money which Ryanair receives are acceptable or no matter if it constitutes illegal state aid.”
Another official who asked not to symbolize named said that the commission also had concerns about the demeanour ascendancy which Charleroi airport had granted Ryanair the subsidies.
“It’s one thing to make an investment, but it’s another to do it secretly. whilst the negotiations took place they were not national and a lot of people did not know what was available, and now all the slots are taken. It’s too late.”
If the commission finds in opposition t Ryanair it could be forced to moolah back hunk state aid. However, Mr O’Leary claimed he was not worried. “I want an early decision and a positive arbitration and i’m nervy that we’ll get both,” he said.
In the event that there was not a positive outcome besides Ryanair had to amend its contract with Charleroi, he said, at least four other airports were willing to pace in – although he declined to name them.