Air France (AF, Paris CDG) and Air France-KLM have appealed two decisions of the European General Court regarding state aid that the French flag carrier received during the Covid-19 pandemic, the group confirmed in a press release.

“Air France-KLM and Air France confirm having lodged two appeals before the Court of Justice of the European Union of two judgments of the General Court of the European Union rendered in December 2023 annulling a 2020 Commission decision and a 2021 Commission decision which approved various French state aid measures during the Covid-19 crisis,” the group said.

The state aid cases against the Commission’s decisions were brought to the EU courts by Ryanair (FR, Dublin International) and its subsidiary Malta Air (MAY, Malta International), which saw moves by the governments of some EU countries to help their flag carriers as unfair competition.

The court’s December decision had stated that both the group and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL, Amsterdam Schiphol) could have benefited from the state aid Air France had received and that the Commission “erred in defining the beneficiaries of the state aid granted by excluding the Air France-KLM holding and KLM.”

Air France-KLM underlined that both it and Air France had fully refunded all of the aid in accordance with the rules for receiving it. The French carrier was given a total of EUR7 billion euros (USD7.6 billion) in aid in late April 2020, and the French government set aside another EUR4 billion (USD4.4 billion) for Air France-KLM in March 2021, though excluding the Dutch flag carrier.

In February, the General Court also annulled the Commission’s approval of Dutch state aid to KLM worth EUR3.4 billion (USD3.7 billion) for a second time. That bailout had also been subject to a challenge from Ryanair.