Ryanair, Europe's biggest discount airline, is continuing its crusade against bailouts crafted for a number of national flag carriers, suing Portugal over a plant crafted to keep TAP flying.
The Ireland-based carrier has gone to the EU's court system with its complaint that the TAP plan with €1.2 billion in loans and arrangements is 'illegal state aid.' Under EU law, governments are not permitted to subsidize industries, although exceptions have been allowed at times for vital enterprises such as airlines.
Most of the flag carrier airlines that have been 'bailed out' are former state-owned properties that were privatized years ago, but have now run into financial issues made worse by the pandemic. One, Alitalia, which had been operating in bankruptcy for several years, was re-nationalized. Ryanair has also sued over rescue plans involving Lufthansa, KLM, Air France and SAS.