Nats Rescue Threatened by Ryanair

By Hirst, Clayton | The Independent on Sunday (London, England), December 8, 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Nats Rescue Threatened by Ryanair

Hirst, Clayton, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)

No-frills airline Ryanair is preparing to challenge the Government's bailout of the cash-strapped National Air Traffic Services in the courts.

Europe's second-largest budget operator, headed by Michael O'Leary, is to meet the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Wednesday to spell out the grounds for a legal challenge under European competition law.

The rescue of Nats, which was part-privatised in March 2001, involves a pounds 60m cash injection by airports operator BAA to be matched pound-for- pound by the Government. On top of this, the CAA has agreed to allow Nats to increase the charges it levies on the airlines.

Nats is 46 per cent owned by the Airline Group, whose shareholders include BA, Virgin Atlantic, easyJet and BMI.

In a letter sent to the CAA, seen by The Independent on Sunday, Ryanair says: "This is not only unfair but is, on the face of it, illegal."

Dated 28 November, the letter adds that the airlines which are not shareholders in Nats "are being discriminated against because we will not receive any return on this forced investment, whereas the Airline Group and other shareholders will". The letter concludes that unless the bailout is abandoned then legal action is likely.

Jim Callaghan, Ryanair's head of regulatory affairs, said: "The proposals have to be challenged in order for things to be fair and equitable. We'll get no financial return for the 8 per cent increase in fees and the forced investment we are expected to make in Nats."

Mr Callaghan refused to reveal details of the legal action. However, it is understood Ryanair believes that Nats' rescue infringes Article 86(2) of the European Union Treaty, covering competition.

Mr Callaghan also criticised others for not taking up the issue. "The airlines which are not shareholders in the Airline Group have not been vocal. I think that this is because so many of them have links with the shareholders of Airline Group. In my opinion, it's all stitched up through co-sharing agreements between the airlines," he said.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Nats Rescue Threatened by Ryanair


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?