The European Commission has opened an “in-depth investigation” into agreements concluded by Ryanair to use Francfort-Hahn Airport, the Commission said on Friday in a press release. The European executive body is looking into possible illegal State assistance, following a number of complaints.
Until last year, the company that runs the airport’s installations, FFHG, was under the control of the Rhineland-Palatine Government. Suspicions that the low-cost Irish carrier benefitted from favouritism have surfaced, particularly regarding the funding of a school for pilots and certain services.
“At this stage, the Commission has concerns that the agreements in question may give Ryanair an unfair economic advantage vis-à-vis its competitors that might amount to incompatible aid in favour of Ryanair,” the Commission said.
Francfort-Hahn is about 120 kilometres west of the biggest German financial centre. The Rhineland-Palatinate region sold its shares in FFHG to Chinese investors in 2017.
This is not the first complaint of this nature filed against Ryanair. The company is facing a similar one in Montpellier, France.