Ryanair filed a complaint with Paris’ administrative tribunal to sue the French Government for approximately EUR110 million, claiming the government provided “unlawful state aid to Air France in the form of reductions in airport charges on domestic routes” (AP/Bloomberg, 31-Mar-2010). According to Ryanair, Air France benefited from the reductions worth over EUR1 billion for a number of years before the European Commission prohibited the act. The LCC expects hearings to commence in 2011. Air France responded stating the process for issuing slots at French airports is “transparent and public”, but Ryanair is “never a candidate as there is no money to be made”.
Ryanair suing French Government for "unlawful state aid provided to Air France"
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Full details of the plan, which has received the support of Italy's government, have not yet been made public. Alitalia's network strategy includes further long haul growth and a reworking of its short haul operation, with an emphasis on feeding long haul via Rome and Milan. Other elements of the plan include cost-cutting, reduced headcount and possible changes to joint venture agreements. Details are to be presented to Alitalia’s workforce in Jan-2017.
Also on 22-Dec-2016, Alitalia's shareholders approved short-term funding and gave management 60 days to begin negotiations with key stakeholders - lessors, suppliers and distribution companies, in addition to trade unions. Alitalia needs their support for deep cost reduction measures, in order to win the long-term financing needed to secure the airline's future.
Geopolitics defines much of Europe’s Uncertain outlook in 2017
Europe faces a growing range of geopolitical risks and uncertainties. These range from the presidential election in France and the federal elections in Germany to the UK’s (only) likely triggering of the formal process of leaving the European Union. Political instability in Italy and a general feeling of a move to populist politics raise a tendency towards protectionism and resistance to some of the core principles of the European Union.
They also include possible shifts in Russia’s relationship with the west under a Trump administration in the US. Indeed, Mr Trump’s presidency also raises questions over Europe’s own relationship with the US, notably his attitude towards free trade and to NATO.
The threat of terrorist activity remains real in Western Europe, where both Belgium and France were targeted in 2016. Turkey also suffered from frequent terrorist outrages and an attempted coup in 2016.
The civil war in Syria and an unstable political backdrop in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa have drawn in a number of European nations to a greater or lesser extent and contributed to an influx of refugees across Europe. The refugee crisis has fuelled wider concerns about immigration, adding to a climate of political anxiety.
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