Ryanair Will Appeal Aix-En-Provence Court Ruling & Fine
CASE REGARDING MARSEILLE BASE FROM 2006 TO 2010
Ryanair, Europe’s only ultra-low fare carrier, today (1 Oct) confirmed, in response to media queries, that it expects a negative ruling and a fine in the Aix-en-Provence Court tomorrow (2 Oct). 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 €1.6m and €1m respectively.
The 2006 French Decree was specifically introduced as further state protection for the loss making Air France, and to limit competition to high fare Air France from lower cost airlines, including Ryanair, Easyjet and Cityjet, on French domestic routes.
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 highlighted that once these proceedings were launched in the French courts, it immediately closed its year-round operational base in Marseille. This case therefore covers the period 2006 to 2010 only and not the summer only operation carried out at Marseille since April 2011 which have a different base structure.
Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said:
“Since Easyjet and Cityjet have already suffered negative rulings under this French Decree, we have reasons to believe that Ryanair’s year-round base in Marseille, which closed in January 2011, will also suffer a negative ruling. We will appeal any such negative ruling (and fine) on the basis that European employment and social security law clearly allows mobile workers on Irish registered aircraft, working for an Irish airline, to pay their taxes and social taxes in Ireland.”