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Ryanair v European Commission

In Ryanair v European Commission (T-512/11) ( 25 November 2014) the CJEU found that the exemption from Irish air travel tax may constitute state aid.

In 2009 Ryanair had lodged a complaint claiming that the non-application of Irish ‘air travel tax’ (ATT) to transit and transfer passengers constituted illegal state aid for the benefit of the airlines Aer Lingus and Aer Arann as these undertakings had a relatively high proportion of such passengers and flights.

The Commission had found that the measure was not selective and therefore did not constitute state aid in breach of TFEU art 107(1). It fell to the CJEU to review the Commission’s decision.

The CJEU observed that in order to classify a domestic tax measure as ‘selective’ therefore representing state aid it must identify the common tax regime in the relevant member state. It noted that the Commission...

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