Ryanair has slammed the government’s tax break in the Flybe rescue deal as “breaching competition law” if it is not extended to all airlines.
The budget airline has written to chancellor Sajid Javid urging him to extend the Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax break to all UK airlines.
It said if the tax holiday is not handed to all Flybe’s competitors, the government has breached competition law and state aid rules.
The letter also said if the government did not comply with Ryanair’s demands, it would “launch legal proceedings”.
“The Flybe model is not viable, which is why its billionaire owners are looking for a state subsidy for their failed investment,” said Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive.
“The reason why Flybe isn’t viable is because it cannot compete with lower-fare services from UK regional airports on domestic and EU routes provided by Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways and others; and it cannot compete with lower-cost road and rail alternatives on many smaller UK domestic routes.”