Ryanair Vows To Fight French Court Ruling and Fines

 - October 2, 2013, 11:19 AM
Ryanair has run afoul of French tax law, costing it nearly $11 million in fines. (Photo: Boeing)

Ryanair said it will appeal Wednesday’s ruling by a provincial court in France that imposed fines and damages totaling €8 million ($10.8 million), the majority of which relate to alleged non-payment of French social insurance and state pension contributions for Ryanair crews flying to and from Marseille from 2007 to 2010. Ryanair counters that the crewmembers worked under Irish contracts and on Irish-registered aircraft and have already paid their taxes, social taxes and state pension contributions in Ireland, in full compliance with Irish and EU regulations.

Ryanair cited “a clear contradiction” between current EU employment regulations under which the Irish workers paid their taxes in Ireland and a 2006 French decree that requires airline crews operating in Ireland to pay social taxes and pension contributions in France. The airline said it believes that only the European courts, which uphold EU regulations on the employment of mobile transport workers, can resolve the so-called contradiction.

“Ryanair will study today’s ruling in detail, and will be lodging an early appeal,” said a Ryanair spokesman. “Since all of our people operating to and 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.”