Ryanair: Shocking revelations about social dumping & tax evasion. Video!
When asked what is the controversial about the low-cost airline Rynair, most travellers would point out the hidden fees-business, charging passengers for everything apart for oxygen or the dubious PR-style of Ryanair's Michael O'Leary.
These are all mere trifles compared to the picture of this Irish low-cost that emerges from a documentary film „Low cost, journey to the land of wild capitalism“.
The world's favourite airline
It is difficult to find a more striking contrast than that between the imaged of Ryanair created by the very company and encapsulated in its slogan «the world's favourite airline» and the impression one is left with upon watching the documentary by the journalist Enrico Porsia.
Ryanair never grows weary of banging on about the services it has rendered to the mass aviation as opposed to the traditional carriers squeezing the last quid out of travellers. Other assertions made by its corporate management concern the sustainability of its business model and last but not least the carrier's phenomenal profitability. But is Rynair such a successful and democratizing enterprise as they would have us believe? The documentary make some shocking claims that Ryanair for some reason chose not to confront.
Nothing like Robin Hood
One of the claims is that the profit made out of passenger transportation is not the main source of income or as it was put «is just collateral». How is that? The carrier receives huge amounts of money from local airports for supporting them, that is to say launching routes and setting up its bases. Of course, it is taxpayers money and these are not small sums. According to Air France, Rynair would have a deficit have it not been for the public fundings.
The company established several holdings such as Leading Verge – based in a tax heaven that the Isle of Man is – where the subsidies are transferred. And in case you did not know subsidies cannot be given to companies unless they comply with a very strict legal framework and unless they are approved by the European commission. It turns out the airline does not always want to comply with the strict EU law. If the airport authorities or local authorities oppose, Ryanair blackmails them into accepting its demands. Otherwise it threatens to reduce the number of flights or simply to leave the airport (as was the case in Airport Marseilles)
Other assertions made by the interviewee were that the Irish carrier treats its employees badly. For example, they are «only paid for the actual flight time, not for all the time spent working» and «even with 6 flights a day (one) cannot spent 1 hours or 2 hours on ground because that would be wasting time». Those who dare to protest are fired. So the pressure put on the plane crew by the corporate management is hard to bear.
Now, the above are claims made by the individuals featured in the documentary but what we find telling is that the otherwise very mouthy people making statements on behalf of the company as well as other involved individuals refused to comment on the claims.
Watch the documentary for yourself:
Slawomir Budziak, Dec 14, 2011
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