Ryanair has confirmed it will appeal against a €9 billion state bailout agreed with the German government to save Lufthansa from collapse.

The state is to take a 20% stake in the carrier which it intends to sell by the end of 2023, a move which Ryanair claimed would “further strengthen Lufthansa’s monopoly-like grip on the German air travel market” by allowing it to “engage in below-cost selling”.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “While most other EU airlines can survive on just payroll support schemes (for which we are extremely grateful), Lufthansa claims it needs another €9bn from the German government, €1bn from the Swiss government, €800m from the Austrian government and €500m from the Belgian government as it stumbles around Europe sucking up as much state aid as it can possibly gather.

“How can airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet and Laudamotion be expected to compete with Lufthansa in the short haul market to and from Germany, now that it has €9bn worth of German government subsidies to allow it to engage in below-cost selling or buy up even more competition for the next number of years.”

He added: “The German government continues to ignore EU rules when it suits them to subsidise large German companies, but then lectures every other EU government about respecting the rules when they ignore them.

“Ryanair will appeal against this latest example of illegal state aid to Lufthansa, which will massively distort competition.”