Ryanair to shut only French base

14 Oct 2010 by BusinessTraveller

Budget carrier Ryanair is to close down its Marseille base next year as its legal dispute with French authorities comes to a head.

The dispute surrounds the payment of taxes by Ryanair staff working on the four aircraft currently based at Marseille. According to Ryanair, the staff work on Irish registered aircraft, effectively Irish territory according to EU labour laws.

However, French authorities see things differently, demanding that taxes be paid to them and not Ireland. Ryanair says the resulting legal proceedings have forced it to close its base at Marseille, and with it comes the loss of 200 jobs and the closure of 13 routes.

The Marseille base is due to shut down on January 11. The four aircraft, and associated job roles, will be moved to other bases in Spain, Italy and Lithuania.

13 routes to and from Marseille are set to close, however ten will continue on aircraft with crews based elsewhere, and as such not subject to the French proceedings. See below for a list of the routes.

Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary said the airline remained “committed to Marseille Airport and in particular to its low cost MP2 Terminal.”

“Ryanair will now be working with the management of Marseille Airport to try to grow other routes and traffic, on aircraft which are based overseas, particularly as Ryanair opens up bases elsewhere in Europe. 

“Sadly the loser in all of this will be Marseille Airport, tourism and jobs in the Provence region.”

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Report by Andrew Gough

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