An investigation into an agreement concluded between Ryanair and Bratislava Airport in 2005 was officially closed on 27 January 2010 after the Commission reached a decision that the deal did not raise State aid issues. Opened in 2008, the inquiry examined allegations regarding the airport charges paid by Ryanair for both existing destinations and new scheduled flights. Using a cost-benefit analysis, the Commission eventually concluded that the airport operator had acted as a market economy investor under the arrangement and therefore Ryanair had derived no special competitive advantage. Consequently, the deal did not give rise to State aid. The Commission found that the arrangement meant that the airport’s operational and financial positions were markedly improved by factors including the diversification of airlines using its facilities and a reduction in overcapacity. Consequently, it was reasonable for the airport operator to consider that this would make the airport more profitable.
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