Air Transport World


                  State aid to European airlines                           U.S. $ millions  Air France   $570 1991  Sabena        970 1991  Iberia      1,300 1992  Aer Lingus    250 1994  Air France  3,700 1994  Olympic     2,300 1994  TAP         1,100 1994  Iberia        710 1996  Alitalia    1,600 1997  Total      12,500  SOURCE: SAS      

The whole principle of state aid to prop up ailing European airlines was thrown into serious doubt by a decision by the Luxembourg-based European Court of First Instance against the European Commission's approval of FF20 billion ($3.7 billion) of such aid to Air France. The unanswered question now is whether AF will have to pay the aid back to its government AF thinks not; British Midland, one of seven airlines including British Airways, Air UK (now KIM uk) and SAS which challenged the EC derision in the European Court, thinks it is a possibility. …

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