By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Ryanair on Wednesday won its challenge against state aid granted to virus-hit German charter airline Condor, marking its third victory in its fight against billions of euros in support granted to its rivals as Europe’s second-top court annulled a regulatory decision.
The Luxembourg-based General Court, however, said that Condor would not be required to repay the German aid for now due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pending a new decision by the European Commission.
“The General Court annuls the Commission decision approving the state aid granted by Germany to the airline Condor Flugdienst on the ground of an inadequate statement of reasons,” the Court said.
Judges said the EU competition enforcer had provided inadequate reasons regarding the direct causal link between the costs resulting from the extension of Condor’s insolvency period and the cancellation and rescheduling of its flights as a result of travel restrictions related to the pandemic.
The EU executive last year cleared a 550-million-euro ($670 million) German state-guaranteed loan to Condor, saying the measure complied with the bloc’s state aid rules.
The case is T-665/20 Ryanair v Commission.
($1 = 0.8205 euros)
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