IALPA supports European Court of Justice ruling on jurisdiction of flight crew’s homebase.

The Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA) welcomes the European Court of Justice ruling that cabin crew can choose to be subject to the employment law of the country they are based in, not that of the airline.

The ruling, issued by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg earlier today, concerned cabin crew based at the Irish carrier’s Charleroi airport base in Belgium.

The crew involved in the case had employment contracts drawn up under Irish law which said their work was to be regarded as being carried out in Ireland since they were working on Irish-registered aircraft.

Those contracts nevertheless designated Charleroi airport (Belgium) as the employees’ ‘home base’ and as the employees started and ended their working day at that airport, they were contractually obliged to reside within an hour of their ‘home base’.

In today’s judgement the European Court of Justice pointed out that the European rules concerning jurisdiction are aimed at protecting the weaker party and enable an employee to sue their employer before the courts which they regard as closest to their interests. This gives the employee the option of bringing proceedings before the courts of the Member State in which they are domiciled or the place in which they habitually carry out their work.

Captain Evan Cullen, President of IALPA, stated “This ruling is very important for the aviation industry and its employees. It’s the first step in ensuring airlines step up to their obligations regarding their staff.

“It finally brings legal certainty so crews throughout Europe now know their rights and their employer’s obligations. This ruling will be a ray of light for the thousands of flight crews who have struggled to find legal protection at the place they actually work on a daily basis rather than being forced to seek judicial redress in Ireland.”


Note to editors:

Please follow the link below to see the Press Release from the Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxembourg, which contains links to the full text of the judgments:


Please follow the link below to see the Press Release from the European Cockpit Association:




Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association, Corballis Park, Dublin Airport.
T: +353 1 844 5272 | F: +353 1 844 6051 | press@ialpa.net