EU: Lufthansa loses challenge to aid for Frankfurt’s Hahn airport

Lufthansa on Friday lost its court challenge against millions of euros in state aid being granted to Frankfurt-Hahn airportto the benefit of rival Ryanair, after failing to prove the payments dented its revenue or market share.

The German carrier took its case to the Luxembourg-based General Court after EU antitrust regulators in 2014 gave the green light to a series of support measures for the airport, which is 82.5-percent owned by China’s HNA Group with the rest held by the German state of Hesse.

The support given to the airport, which is only used by Ryanair and Wizz Air, included capital increases totaling 49 million euros ($55.5 million), direct grants and a charging scheme.

The German airline argued that many of the benefits of the aid were passed on to Ryanair, which was not paying high enough airport charges. But Europe’s second-highest court said that Lufthansa had failed to show it took a financial hit or lost market share as result of the measures.

Full Content: Reuters

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