July 4, 2018 / 9:54 AM / 4 months ago

EU to investigate Ryanair deal with Montpellier airport

FILE PHOTO: Ryanair Boeing 737-800 passenger jet takes off in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Wednesday it had opened an in-depth investigation into a marketing deal between no-frills carrier Ryanair (RYA.I) and Montpellier airport in France, to see whether it constituted illegal state aid.

“We will investigate whether regional and local authorities in France granted an undue economic advantage to Ryanair over its competitors,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Under the deal, Ryanair received substantial payments in exchange for promoting the Montpellier area as a tourist destination on its website, the Commission said.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, editing by Robin Emmott

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