Tuesday, October 01 16:54:53
Ryanair faces the possibility of having four of its aircraft confiscated in Aix-en-Provence in France as a court prepares to issue a ruling on whether the Irish airline violated French employment laws.
The Irish airline today said it fully expects to lose the case and acknowledged it - at the very lease - faces a hefty fine.
Prosecutors say Ryanair circumvented French law by issuing Irish contracts to 127 staff its Marseille base.
According to the local press, prosecutors have called for the sequestration of four aircraft.
Ryanair confirmed, in response to queries, that it expects a negative ruling and a fine in the Aix-en-Provence Court tomorrow.
"This ruling will be based, in particular, on the French Decree which was introduced in Nov 2006, after Ryanair's operational base in Marseille had opened. Already under this decree, rulings against Easyjet (Apr 2010) and Cityjet (Mar 2012) have been made under which those airlines incurred fines, penalties and back-charges of approx E1.6m and E1m respectively," a Ryanair spokesman said.
"Since the crew operating Ryanair's flights to and from Marseille worked for an airline with its registered office in Ireland and spent their working day on Irish registered aircraft, they are considered to be working principally in Ireland and not in France. 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. Ryanair does not believe that the 2006 Decree applied to its operations in Marseille but following decisions against other airlines such as Easyjet and Cityjet, it expects a negative ruling at this first stage of these proceedings in France. Ryanair confirms that it will appeal any such negative ruling and any attempt by the French authorities to seek payment of social insurance payments which have already been paid in full in Ireland," Ryanair said.