Why are German police raiding Ryanair offices?

This is part of an ongoing investigation into its pilots' working status

Ryanair has reaffirmed that it requires all its pilots whether directly employed or contracted through an agency to be fully tax compliant at all times.

This follows raids by up to 35 prosecutors and customs investigators on six Ryanair bases across Germany yesterday. 

Pilots at the bases were questioned about their relationship with the airline and paper and electronic files were searched.

German prosecutors in the German city of Koblenz said the raids were part of an ongoing investigation into two UK-based contract personnel agencies that supply self-employed pilots for Ryanair. The UK authorities have also been involved in this process.

They added that Ryanair’s business model was a central focus of their investigation including whether the airline was reducing its tax and social insurance bills by not directly employing pilots.

In a statement to Newstalk, the Irish airline said:

"Ryanair has met with and agreed to assist the German tax authorities with their enquiry into a number of individual contractor pilots.

"The German tax authorities have confirmed that Ryanair is not the subject of any tax investigations. Ryanair requires all of its pilots, both directly employed and contractor, to be fully tax compliant at all times. Should the German authorities require any further assistance, we’ll be happy to provide it."