Adria pledges to defend itself during state-aid probe

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Slovenia's Adria Airways has vowed to justify financial support granted to the carrier after the European Commission expressed doubt that it complied with state aid rules.

The Commission has opened an inquiry into the matter. Adria says it has already been in contact with the Slovenian government over the issue and says the inquiry decision "comes as no surprise".

"We would like to stress that it is in the interest of Adria Airways to prove that all the measures so far were carried out in accordance with the applicable legislation," says the carrier.

It says it believes a series of capital injections, carried out over 2007-11, and the subsequent divestment of shares in maintenance firm Adria Airways Tehnika "do not represent state aid". All the transactions, it says, "met the criteria" of market-economy investments.

Adria expects the inquiry to take more than a year to complete.