Thursday, 14 October 2010

Ryanair to Leave Marseille Base

Ryanair are to leave their base at Marseilles, according to France-Soir News. I dont know if this might affect the number of flights to regional airports in France but it seems to me that it may do.
The low-cost airline said on Wednesday that the closure in January of its unique French base in Marseille, is in response to his indictment for "concealed employment".

In Marseille, Ryanair is the second carrier behind Air France © SIPA

At a press conference on Wednesday at the airport of Marignane (Bouches-du-Rhone), the CEO of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, has criticized "the decision of French authorities to prosecute against the Ryanair base in Marseilles, which fully complies with the regulations of the European Union for mobile workers transport". In fact, Ryanair will close its only base in France in January 2011.

"It's a very dark day but we can not wait a year or more to risk any more significant fines if the court proceedings were not favorable," said Michael O'Leary. Ryanair has been indicted by prosecutors in late September in Aix-en-Provence for "clandestine work" following the complaint of several personal unions. The company, based in Marseille from October 2006, challenged the decree of November 21 of that year subjecting flight crews of foreign companies operating in France to French law. Its approximately 200 employees are subject to regulation by the Irish labor.

As of 11 January 2011, four planes of the company and its employees based in Marseille will be transferred to other European airports, perhaps in Kaunas, Lithuania, Barcelona, Bari, Brindisi and Milan.

According to its CEO, Ryanair "loses nothing in this operation, but Marseille loses tourists, visitors and jobs." A view shared by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Marseille Provence which manages the airport. "This departure is very bad news for companies and businesses" and "constitutes a setback for the development" of the territory, responded President Jacques Pfister.

For the Marseille Provence airport, where Ryanair is the second carrier behind Air France, with 1.7 million passengers expected in 2010, closing 13 of its 23 lines could lose one million passengers a year.
The mayor (UMP) of Marseille, Jean-Claude Gaudin attributes the departure of the company to the "irresponsible behavior of unions."

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