In its judgment of 13.9.2010 in case T-416/05, the General Court ruled on the appeal lodged by Olympic Airlines against the Commission’s decision C(2005)2706, concerning state aid amounting to 39,75 million euros, that had allegedly been granted to the above mentioned company.
In particular, by its decision the Commission had found that the payment by Olympic Airlines to Olympic Airways and to the Hellenic Republic of rents for the sub-leasing of aircrafts, that were lower than the ones stipulated in the master leases, constituted unlawfully granted state aid.
However, as we pointed out in our appeal, as well as during the hearing, the Commission confined itself to taking into account only the differences in rents to establish the existence of state aid, without having examined the relationship between the rents paid by Olympic Airlines and those available in normal competitive conditions on the market. Had the comparison in question taken place, it would have been obvious that there was no price dispersion between the rents paid and the normal price conditions on the market, and thus no illegal state aid. In this context, our above mentioned argumentation was fully upheld by the General Court’s decision, which annulled the Commission’s decision, in so far as the grant of state aid to Olympic Airlines was concerned.