French court fines Ryanair €8m for breach of labour laws
The Irish budget airline will appeal the court’s ruling.
The Aix En Provence Court in France has imposed fines and damages of €8m (£6.7m) on low-cost airline Ryanair for violating the country’s labour laws.
The court found that the Irish airline has not paid social insurance and state pension contributions in France for crews flying to and from Marseille between 2007 and 2010.
The court ordered the airline to pay €200,000 in fine, €4.5m backdated social charges, €3m in pension contributions, and €450,000 in unemployment charges.
Ryanair said it would appeal against the ruling in the European courts.
Robin Kiely, a spokesman at Ryanair, said: “Since all of our people operating to/from Marseille between 2007 and 2010 have already paid their social taxes and pension contributions in Ireland, in full compliance with Irish and EU employment regulations, we do not believe that either Ryanair or our people can be forced to double pay these contributions a second time in France.”
The airline in a statement said, “There is a clear contradiction between current EU employment regulations under which these Irish workers paid their taxes and social taxes in Ireland and the 2006 French decree.”
The airline’s September traffic grew by 3 per cent to more than eight million, while its load factor grew by 1 per cent to 85 per cent compared to last year.