Court annuls EU approval of $140 million of COVID-19 aid for Italian airlines

BRUSSELS (AP) — A top European Union court has ruled that the European Commission was wrong to approve millions of euros (dollars) in aid to help Italian airlines cope with the impact of COVID-19 restrictions. The EU general court said the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, failed to provide “a statement of reasons for its finding that the measure at issue was not contrary to EU law provisions other than those governing state aid.” Italian authorities informed the European Commission in October 2020 of their plans to provide 130 million euros to airlines holding an Italian license under certain conditions, and the commission did not raise objections. The case was brought by low-cost Irish carrier Ryanair, which also was struggling to survive at the time.