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RPT Ryanair asks EU to stop Air France bid for Alitalia until state aid repaid

Brussels (Thomson Financial) - Irish low cost airline Ryanair Holdings PLC has called on the European Commission to block Air France-KLM's bid for rival Alitalia until both airlines have paid back a combined 2.7 bln eur in illegal state aid received from the French and Italian governments.

Last month, Ryanair lodged a case at the EU's second-highest court, the Court of First Instance, against the commission for its apparent failure to act on its complaint early last year about state aid it claims is being given to Air France. This was followed by a further case lodged against the commission last week by Ryanair on alleged aid given to Alitalia. No one from the commission has so far been available for comment.