On Thursday, a Dutch court blocked Ryanair in its plans to shut down its base that is located in the Netherlands and move its crew elsewhere. It said that the Irish low-cost carrier had abused its powers as an employer.
Last month, Ryanair dislosed that it would be closing its base in Eindhoven on the 5th of November. It also said that it will be moving 16 pilots who operate the flights from the southern Dutch airport to some locations abroad in order to cut costs.
A group of Ryanair pilots went to court to have the said relocation plans ruled to be illegal. They argued that the Irish firm has taken the step due to the strikes that were organised by Dutch crew earlier this year.
However, Ryanair says that the relocation is one of the consequences of the decision to shut down its Eindhoven base, since the aircraft that would be kept in the southern Dutch city will now need to be relocated elsewhere.
The district court in Den Bosch said that Ryanair was not able to explain the reason why the said move was necessary. It also said that the decision appeared to be retaliation for the European-wide strikes that the Dutch pilots had partipated in recent months.
Ryanair could not immediately be reached to answer requests for comments regarding the matter.
The largest budget airline in Europe has struggled with labour relations since it succumbed to pressure to recognise trade unions for the first time last December.
Two coordinated walkouts were Portugal, organised since August in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium. On the 1st of October, the company said that it affected the passenger numbers, bookings and profits.
The court said that pilots who are operating from Eindhoven could not be relocated abroad against their will. It also forced Ryanair to adhere to the Dutch labour laws.