The French Minister of Economy and Finance announced Sunday his intention to file a complaint with the European Commission about the public aid that benefits the low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle, which is in great financial trouble.
As a guest of the “Grand Jury” programme of RTL-LCI-Le Figaro, Bruno Le Maire estimated that the insolvency of French airline XL Airways, in particular, was explained “in part” by the competition of Norwegian, the third-largest European low-cost airline behind Ryanair and EasyJet. The stiff competition has upset the market with reduced transatlantic rates, at the cost of high debt for all airlines involved.
“It breaks prices, it is in debt, but it has Norwegian public support, and that I cannot accept,” said Le Maire. “The competition rules must be the same for everyone,” he said. “We cannot accept it in Europe, we cannot accept it either from Norway. Hence, I will write to the European Commission next week to tell them, ‘Put it right,’” said the minister.
Norway is not part of the European Union, but accepts most of its legislative texts.
Source: Le Figaro and Reuters