Thu, 24 Jun 2021

DUBLIN, Ireland: Ryanair will appeal against the Italian government's funding of the new government-owned Italian airline that is to replace Alitalia.

"As soon as this money will be injected in the new company we will take the (due) steps," Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson told Italian daily la Repubblica.

"We are waiting to see, but it is clear that it is illegal aid and we will defend our interest by appealing against this umpteenth loan," he added.

Italy is close to an agreement with the European Commission to launch Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA), which will replace Alitalia.

As part of the plans, the Italian government will deliver $3.65 billion to ITA.

"I have the impression that there's nothing new, ITA will just be the extension of Alitalia... with the same problems seen for decades, money being drained from public resources into an airline that today, like yesterday, will lose money," Wilson said.

Ryanair, which would like to take over Alitalia's airport slots, has urged the EU to require ITA to bid for those slots.

Meanwhile, the European Union's competition watchdog is reviewing Italian state aid to Alitalia, and is expected to rule on the Ryanair complaint in the coming weeks.

Under EU state aid rules, Alitalia must discontinue operating its business before ITA could receive state funds.

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