easyJet expects the ‘slots’ assignment to be “transparent and open to all”

The easyJet airline said today that it is interested in “expanding” its presence at all national airports and that it expects TAP’s ‘slots’ assignment process to be “transparent and open to all players”.

In a written response, sent to Lusa, the airline’s official source indicated that “it is not against state aid, as long as they do not harm competition and that they are granted on equal terms”.

“We welcome the European Union commission’s request for TAP to release some of its ‘slots’, in order to gain access to funds,” he stressed.

“As we have been demonstrating, we are interested in expanding our presence at all Portuguese airports, so we hope that this procedure is transparent and open to all ‘players’ in the industry”, concluded the airline.

The European Commission argues that TAP’s obligation to allocate up to 18 ‘slots’ per day to another airline, through a competition organized by Brussels, allows that competitor to “compete effectively” with the Portuguese carrier.

At issue is one of the ‘remedies’ imposed by the community executive for approval of TAP’s restructuring plan, which Brussels justifies, in a written response sent to Lusa, to allow “limiting the distorting effects of aid at Lisbon airport, which is structurally very congested and where TAP has a strong position”.

“The allocation of up to 18 ‘slots’ to a competing airline, through a transparent and non-discriminatory selection process organized by the Commission – with the support of a monitoring administrator – allows the latter to establish or significantly develop its presence at Lisbon airport and reach the scale necessary to compete effectively with TAP, for the benefit of consumers”, explains an official source at the institution to Lusa.

The European Commission said on Tuesday that it had approved TAP’s restructuring plan and state aid worth 2,550 million euros, requiring the airline to make available up to 18 ‘slots’ a day at Lisbon airport.

From Diário Notícias

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