Thursday 28 August 2003

How the EU defines fairness

It looks as if Ryanair's services from Scotland to France and Belgium are under threat:
Two destinations from the airline's Scottish base at Prestwick could be at risk if established carriers or airports succeed in forcing a European Commission crackdown.

Earlier this week, the company was forced to withdraw its Stansted-Strasbourg route - from September 24 - after an Air France subsidiary obtained a ruling that the French airport had improperly used public funds to give incentives to Ryanair worth nearly £1m.

Now, I agree that airports shouldn't be using taxpayers' money to attract new operators but it's a bit of a cheek for Air France to be complaining. Just how much "public" money has been spent bailing out the French airline over the last several decades? Let's have a really level playing field with no subsidies to airports or airlines. I'd put my money on Ryanair, not Air France, as the winner.