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British Airways owner lodges complaint with EU over Flybe rescue deal

Pete Byrne/PA Wire

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) has filed a complaint with the European Union over the Government's decision to rescue Flybe.

The PA news agency understands that IAG has claimed to the European Commission that the rescue deal for Flybe breaches state aid rules and gives the struggling airline an unfair advantage.

It comes hours after IAG chief Willie Walsh publicly criticised the move, describing it as a "blatant misuse of public cash".

The Treasury announced on Tuesday evening that the loss-making regional carrier would continue operating after agreeing to review air passenger duty (APD).

Flybe shareholders agreed to inject extra capital into the airline business as a result, securing the short-term future of 2,400 jobs.