RYANAIR WITHDRAWS ALL OPERATIONS FROM MARSEILLES

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP January 10, 2011 09:53

RYANAIR WITHDRAWS ALL OPERATIONS FROM MARSEILLES

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has made good on his promise and cut all operations in Marseille – its only base in France.

O’Leary has been in a long run battle with the French authorities over contract law. All Ryanair staff based in Marseille were employed on Irish contract, to take advantage of lower social security and tax. French authorities and pilots’ unions took legal action against Ryanair over the matter. At the time the suit was launched, O’Leary said he was abiding by European law because his workers were mobile and worked on “Irish registered aircraft defined as Irish territory”. However, the French court ruled that employees of foreign airlines living in France come under French social security and tax law.

In an attempt to avoid heavy fines, O’Leary has carried out his earlier threat to remove staff from Marseille and close operations. The airline’s Mediterranean hub in Marseille has now been closed and its aircraft and 200 jobs have been transferred to rival airports in Spain, Italy and Lithuania.

Last year, Ryanair flew 1.7m passengers to Marseille.

“Sadly, the loss of four aircraft, 200 jobs and 13 routes at Marseille is a high price necessary to demonstrate these are mobile Irish workers,” O’Leary said. He has now taken the case to the European court of human rights.

Rival easyJet also fell fowl of French law last year when it was fined for breached labour laws having hired 170 170 staff under British contracts at Paris’s Orly airport.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP January 10, 2011 09:53
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