Ryanair is to appeal against an €8 million fine imposed by a French court over crew flying from Marseille.
The Aix En Provence court ordered the carrier to pay the fine and damages, the majority of which relate to alleged non-payment of social insurance and state pension contributions in France, for Ryanair crews flying from the French airport between 2007 and 2010.
The budget carrier argues that the staff were employed on Irish contracts, operating on Irish-registered aircraft, and had already paid taxes and state pension contributions in Ireland.
Ryanair claims that there is a “clear contradiction” between current EU employment regulations and a French decree in 2006, which seeks to require airline crews operating in Ireland to pay social taxes and pension contributions in France.
The airline believes the issue can only be resolved by the European Courts upholding EU regulations on the employment of “mobile” transport workers.
Should it be ultimately forced to pay these social taxes and pension contributions in France, then the vast majority of these will be reclaimable from the Irish government.
A spokesman said: “Ryanair will study today’s ruling in detail, and will be lodging an early appeal. 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.
“In the meantime, Ryanair and its people will continue to comply fully with Irish and EU employment law, income taxes and social tax obligations.”
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