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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 June 2006, 19:40 GMT 20:40 UK
Ryanair blasts Air France 'abuse'
Ryanair plane
Ryanair's plans would see Marseille handle a million more passengers
Budget airline Ryanair has filed a further complaint with the European Commission accusing rival Air France KLM of trying to block competition.

The move comes after the French airline took action to prevent Ryanair from using Marseille airport.

Ryanair had planned to base two planes at Marseille, serving 13 routes.

"This is the latest in a long line of abuses by Air France to protect their stranglehold on the French market," Ryanair said in a statement.

It added the complaint was in response to Air France filing a case at France's top civil court, alleging that Marseille was breaching the law by offering discount airlines cut-price fees at its second, no-frills terminal.

'Competition blocked'

Ryanair added its complaint about Air France was submitted on the basis of "an abuse of dominance under the European competition rules".

"In no other European member state does the national airline hold such a dominant position and engage in such abusive practices in order to block competition," it added.

Air France confirmed it had complained to the country's Council of State about cut price fees for Ryanair at Marseille, saying the lower prices were "discriminatory".

The latest complaint comes a month after Ryanair called on the Commission to investigate allegations that Air France had received almost 1bn euros in illegal state aid.

The Irish firm said its rival had unfairly benefited from discounted landing and passenger charges of up to 50% on flights within France and demanded that Air France repay the cash.

But Air France denied the claims, saying all airline fees set by Paris applied equally to all carriers.

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