BRUSSELS European Union state aid regulators are investigating whether marketing deals between the Spanish authorities and low-cost airline Ryanair (RYA.I) breach EU rules, the European Commission said on Wednesday.
The investigation by the Commission is the latest look into alleged aid granted by European governments seeking to attract airlines to regional airports.
The EU competition authority said it would examine the marketing agreements for Ryanair and other airlines serving Girona-Costa Brava airport to the north of Barcelona and the Reus airport to the south of the Spanish city following a complaint from a competitor last year.
"On the basis of the information at its disposal the Commission cannot exclude that the marketing agreements give the airlines and/or the airports involved an undue advantage vis-a-vis their competitors, and are thus incompatible with the internal market," the Commission said.
The two airports, including the Barcelona airport, are operated by Aena Aeropuertos S.A. (IPO-AENA.MC).
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Greg Mahlich)