Police Raids in Ryanair Bases in Germany

Old Jul 7th, 2016, 12:48 AM
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Police Raids in Ryanair Bases in Germany

Yesterday, the German tax authorities carried out several police raids in Ryanair bases in Cologne, Weeze/Niederrhein, Baden-Baden and Berlin Schönefeld. Also, the private homes of several pilots, flying for Ryanair, have been searched by the police. Police confiscated documents, personal computers and questioned the pilots.

The reason is that the tax authorities suspect that Ryanair practices evasion from social security contributions by involving dummy firms with bogus self employment contracts with the pilots.

Here is the press release of the Ryanair Pilot Group:

You may draw your own conclusions whether you should fly with Ryanair any more.
traveller1959 is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2016, 12:49 AM
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I will stick with my legacy carriers, thank you very much.
sparkchaser is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2016, 01:07 AM
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Me too sparkchaser.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2016, 03:49 AM
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And here's me thinking the Germans held to our quaint British custom of assuming people were innocent till proven guilty in a court of law.

Clearly, synthetic moral indignation is a superior principle for some people.

I'll go on flying Ryanair. If they're proven guilty of anything more serious than giving complacent Lufthansa some decent competition, I'll think about what I'll do.
flanneruk is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2016, 03:52 AM
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And the rest of us thought that when a bunch of people engage in a non-binding vote they are willing to allow an entire country to drop further down the tubes because some politician who is resigning told them they have to obey the results.
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2016, 04:05 AM
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Ryanair has had a lot of suits, notably in France where they were 'optimizing' the laws. In the end they lost.

Actually I was on a Ryanair flight yesterday, from Schoenefeld to Bruxelles. And I was thinking they were getting 'normal' - flight attendants are smiling, you get a seat reservation, the volume of the annoucements for the tombola etc is now quiet enough.
Ah. I took off on time, landed on time, and we didn't crash and it seems that the maintenance is well done and the aircrafts are recent.

I am not rich enough to fly Air France everytime and one might wonder what to do with ethics when the union of AF defends people who are allowed to enter a meeting with HR manager, threaten him, grab him by the shirt and finally pursue the guy, who lost half his shirt and had to climb a fence to escape his pursuers.

Or Lufth whose pilots go on strike if they don't get enough sugar in their coffee.

or ...

Moral superiority can be declined several ways. Let us wait and see what happens first.
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Old Jul 7th, 2016, 04:24 AM
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Maybe they are just tax evasion as an excuse, maybe they have flown Ryan.
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Old Jul 7th, 2016, 04:47 AM
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Totally agree with your assessment of flying with Ryanair these days Whathello.

I flew with them a few weeks ago (London to Kerry) and the experience was actually quite pleasurable and about a million times better than it was when I last flew with them about 10 years ago.

My experience was so bad on my previous flight that I said I would never fly with them again and kept to my word until I was invited to attend a stag do in Dingle and decided that I didn't really need a liver anyway, so got the cheapest flight I could find that landed as close to Dingle as possible.

The plane was clean, the staff friendly, plenty of announcements to let us know why there was a 30 minute delay, it honestly changed my opinion of flying with them completely.

If we had to boycott (or stop using the services of) every company that avoided paying a "fair" amount of tax or profited in ways that were morally wrong, we'd all be living in caves wearing sackcloth.
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Old Jul 7th, 2016, 06:17 AM
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When I read the press coverage correctly, it's not a legal action against Ryanair but against two "men-in-the-middle".
(Those) Ryanair pilots are self-employed and have just a "per use" contractual relationship with these companies in the middle. Ryanair "buys pilots" from those companies. Sorry for the less than professional wording.

As any self-employed entrepreneur, the pilots are not insured, taxed, etc via their contractor - as those are not employers.

Some may forget that there in no universal healtcare in Germany for the self-employed. They don't have access to healthcare unless they insure themselves. Or pay out of their pockets when they need a doctor.
To receive compensation for sick days, they would need another insurance on top of that.

In principle, it is not illegal for a pilot to work as a hired gun for airlines. It turns into an illegal tax evasion scheme when those pilots always end up flying for the same airline.

While tax evasion is one issue, I get a bit nervous when I think of pilots who should rather be home with whatever petty illness but cannot afford to stay home as otherwise they will make no money.
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Old Jul 7th, 2016, 06:36 AM
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Of course, Ryanair is accused.

These middle companies, Brookfield Aviation and McGinley Aviation, are just dummy companies to hide what Ryanair is doing.

In fact, Ryanair employs pilots (like evey other airline). Then they should have to pay social security contributions.

To avoid these contributions they pretend that the pilots are self-employed and get contracts from Brookfield Aviation or McGinley Aviation. However, this is nothing but fraud.

The pilots do not work like self-employed persons. They work like employees:

- They work for one employer only, that is Ryanair.
- They do not have offices, they do not advertise like real self-employed professionals.
- They cannot choose their working time freely, like self-employed persons.
- They are integrated into the work organization of Ryanair.

In German, this is called "scheinselbständig" (= fake self-employed). There is a law that defines criteria of employment, fake self-employment and real self-employment. Quite obviously, Ryanair has violated the laws with a considerable degree of criminal energy when they even used bogus companies.

Have you ever wondered why Ryanair can offer such cheap flights?

There is no free meal, boys and girls. Someone has to pay for it.
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Old Jul 7th, 2016, 11:07 AM
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I love Ryanair. It's not my job to punish them if they've done something illegal. The authorities will see to that.
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Old Jul 7th, 2016, 02:00 PM
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What do you mean by "Of course, Ryanair is accused"?
Accused by whom?

As you seem to be able to read German, you may want to read Süddeutsche Zeitung latest article, for example.

While also Ryanair offices at four hubs in Germany have been raided, the prosecutor in charge in quoted that the investigation and accusations are targeted against the pilots and the middle companies - and explicitely not against Ryanair.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
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