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Weil Wins Dismissal of Claims for Ryanair

Weil secured the dismissal of claims against longtime client Ryanair, the Irish budget airline, in a dispute over state aid it had received from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport.

On April 21, the 9th Civil Division of the Koblenz Higher Regional Court dismissed Lufthansa’s appeal of a first-instance judgment by the Bad Kreuznach Regional Court from 2007 in its entirety.

Since 2006, Lufthansa repeatedly tried to require the regional airport, which since became insolvent and was sold in April, to reclaim alleged state aid from Ryanair. The judgment is a success for Ryanair, which joined the legal dispute as an intervenor. The Koblenz Higher Regional Court granted leave to appeal.

Proceedings were conducted both in the German courts and before the EU Commission in Brussels and the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Lufthansa alleged in both courts that its competitor Ryanair, which established its first hub in Germany at Hahn Airport, received inadmissible indirect governmental support. The EU Commission, however, found nothing to object to in 2014 and did not classify the measures as state aid. Proceedings in Germany were suspended several times over 17 years as the case was litigated at the ECJ.

The Weil team representing Ryanair was led by Co-Managing Partner of Weil’s German offices Britta Grauke with counsel Matthias Eiden and associate Clarissa Tran.