Ryanair braces for guilty verdict

Airline plans to appeal, as prosecutors have already demanded seizure of four aircraft and €225,000 fine

1 October 2013

RYANAIR has announced it will appeal a verdict from a French a court that is expected to find the airline guilty of violating French employment law.

Prosecutors at the court in Aix-en-Provence had asked that four of the airline's aircraft be seized and the company fined €225,000.

The company was accused of breaching French employment law by operating a base in Marseille from 2007-2010 with 127 staff employed on Irish contracts.

No activity was declared to the French authorities but French law declares that the Code du Travail applies to the activity of a business “carried out on premises or with infrastructure in a habitual manner”.

The case against the airline was brought by Urssaf, the Pôle Emploi, the Caisse de retraite and cabin crew and pilots' unions.

Ryanair argues that the crew operating its flights in and out of Marseille worked for an airline that was registered in the Republic of Ireland and spent their working day on Irish-registered craft.

“Ryanair crews were correctly working under Irish contracts of employment and paying Irish social insurance in accordance with the applicable European employment and social security laws,” it said.

Easyjet has already incurred fines and back penalties in a similar case. It paid €1.6 million, while Cityjet paid €1 million.

Ryanair issued a profits warning at the beginning of September saying that its profits were likely to be lower that the predicted €570m.


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