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Lithuania turns to EU Court of Justice over place of hearing of flyLAL and AirBaltic dispute

BC, Vilnius, 12.01.2017.Print version
The European Union's (EU) Court of Justice has been asked to specify whether the claim filed by bankrupt company flyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines (flyLAL) against Latvia's Air Baltic and the Riga Airport can be heard in Lithuanian courts, reports LETA/BNS.

The Lithuanian Court of Appeals turned to the Court of Justice in light of the complex procedural circumstances of the case, the court said. This is the first time in the court's history when an address is made to the Court of Justice for interpretation of the EU law.

After receipt of a conclusion from the Court of Justice, the Lithuanian court will decide whether the case can be heard in Lithuania or in Latvia.

flyLAL has asked the court to award damages caused by the possibly unlawful actions of Air Baltic and the Riga Airport – a suspected deal to apply lower prices at the Riga airport. flyLAL has said that Air Baltic's predatory pricing policies at the Vilnius Airport caused it to be expelled from the flight market.

After about seven years of litigation, a Vilnius court ruled last January that Air Baltic should pay flyLAL 16.121 mln euros in damages. The Riga Airport was cleared of charges.

In 2006, Latvia's competition watchdog found that the discount system at the Riga Airport distorted the market and benefited two companies, namely, Air Baltic and Ireland's Ryanair.

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