Brussels, 27 January 2010
Commission closes investigation into agreement between Bratislava Airport and Ryanair
The European Commission has today decided to close the formal investigation procedure into the agreement between Bratislava Airport in Slovakia and Ryanair after concluding that the airport operator acted as a market economy investor and therefore no advantage has been granted to Ryanair.
The operator of Bratislava Airport (Letisko M.R. Štefánika – Airport Bratislava, a.s.) concluded on 5 December 2005 an agreement with Ryanair until 2016. Following an in-depth assessment after opening the formal investigation procedure 1 , the Commission has now determined that the agreement can be justified by a cost-benefit-analysis. This cost-benefit-analysis provided an assessment of the conditions – in particular the coverage of the costs by the aviation revenue attributable to the agreement - at Bratislava Airport and allows to conclude that in similar circumstances a private investor operating under normal market conditions would have entered into the same or similar commercial arrangement as the airport operator.
In addition the diversification of airlines operating from the airport - and thus the risk reduction – as well as a better allocation of resources and a reduction of overcapacities contributed positively to the operational and financial situation of Bratislava Airport and increased its market value for its shareholders.
Therefore, the Commission concluded that at the time when the Ryanair agreement was signed, it was rational to consider that it would make the management of the airport more profitable.
See IP/08/429 of 11.03.2008