Business Irish

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Ryanair to employ German pilots directly in major shift

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

All contract Ryanair pilots in Germany are to be offered full employment status with the airline in the coming weeks.

UK firm McGinley Aviation, which provides contract pilots to the carrier, has written to pilots to notify them that the firm will cease the provision of contractors in Germany from October 31.

"Having discussed the matter with the client airline you are provided to (Ryanair), Ryanair has confirmed that they will be offering a direct Ryanair employment contract to you in coming weeks," McGinley Aviation managing director Elizabeth Cusack said in the letter.

"It is important that you liaise with your accountancy providers to ensure that outstanding limited company/tax/social insurance matters are dealt with appropriately."

About half of Ryanair's pilots in Germany are contractors.

German tax authorities have previously raided Ryanair contract pilots' homes and some of the airline bases as part of investigations into McGinley Aviation and another contract pilot provider, UK-based Brookfield.

Tax authorities have been investigating if there was evasion of income taxes and social welfare contributions.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese Ryanair company council formed under the auspices of trade union Spac has claimed in a letter to the airline's chief people officer, Eddie Wilson, that it is breaching Portuguese labour laws "in certain clauses".

The council has insisted the carrier pay pilots in the country backdated pay and interest for national holidays they may have worked. It claims that under Portuguese law workers are entitled to 13 paid public holidays, compared to nine in Ireland.

"Spac now calls on Ryanair to pay our members the applicable daily holiday pay per year since being based in Portugal, plus interest, in the next monthly pay," then union told Mr Wilson.

A Ryanair spokeswoman said: "A majority of our pilots are directly employed and Ryanair complies with all Irish and EU employment law."

Ryanair said yesterday that it's launching its first-ever flights to Turkey this summer, with routes to Dalaman from Dublin and Bratislava.

Irish Independent

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