ELFAA again accuses Spanair of breaching EU state aid rules

This story is sourced from Pro
See more Pro news »

Barcelona-based Spanair has again come under fire from the European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA) for allegedly taking another state-funded cash injection amounting to €25 million ($33.8 million).

ELFAA plans to lodge another complaint with the European Commission over what it described as illegal state aid. The money this time, said ELFAA, is coming from the regional Catalonian government and the City Council of Barcelona.

"This latest injection to keep Spanair afloat is not only a waste of valuable public funds, it is also a flagrant breach of European legislation with respect to competition and state aid," said ELFAA secretary general John Hanlon.

In November 2010, ELFAA complained to the European Commission about the infrastructure arm of the Catalonian government purchasing a €20 million stake in Spanair.

The loss-making carrier in February insisted that it was not on the brink of collapse, despite widespread reports to the contrary.

Spanair strategic planning director Jim Paton told Flightglobal Pro in June that the carrier was seeking a strategic investor and was in talks with interested parties.

Paton said today that "discussions with potential investors are ongoing", but he declined to comment on the latest alleged cash injection.