«As filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on July 26, 2016 UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION WASHINGTON, D.C. ...»
Ryanair’s pilots, flight attendants and maintenance and ground operations personnel undergo training, both initial and recurrent. A substantial portion of the initial training for Ryanair’s flight attendants is devoted to safety procedures, and cabin crew are required to undergo annual evacuation and fire drill training during their tenure with the airline. Ryanair also provides salary increases to its engineers who complete advanced training in certain fields of aircraft maintenance. Ryanair utilizes its own Boeing 737-800 aircraft simulators for pilot training.
IAA regulations require pilots to be licensed as commercial pilots with specific ratings for each aircraft to be flown. In addition, IAA regulations require all commercial pilots to be medically certified as physically fit. At March 31, 2016, the average age of Ryanair’s pilots was 34 years and their average period of employment with Ryanair was
4.5 years. Licenses and medical certification are subject to periodic re-evaluation and require recurrent training and recent flying experience in order to be maintained. Maintenance engineers must be licensed and qualified for specific aircraft types. Flight attendants must undergo initial and periodic competency training. Training programs are subject to approval and monitoring by the IAA. In addition, the appointment of senior management personnel directly involved in the supervision of flight operations, training, maintenance and aircraft inspection must be satisfactory to the IAA.
Based on its experience in managing the airline’s growth to date, management believes that there is a sufficient pool of qualified and licensed pilots, engineers and mechanics within the EU to satisfy Ryanair’s anticipated future needs in the areas of flight operations, maintenance and quality control and that Ryanair will not face significant difficulty in hiring and continuing to employ the required personnel. Ryanair has also been able to satisfy its needs for additional pilots and flight attendants through the use of contract agencies. These contract pilots and flight attendants are included in the table above.
Ryanair has a licensed approved organization in The Netherlands to operate pilot training courses using Ryanair’s syllabus, in order to grant Boeing 737 type-ratings. Each trainee pilot must pay for his or her own training and, based on his or her performance, he or she may be offered a position operating on Ryanair aircraft. This program enables Ryanair to secure a continuous stream of type-rated co-pilots.
Ryanair’s crews earn productivity-based incentive payments, including a sales bonus for onboard sales for flight attendants and payments based on the number of hours or sectors flown by pilots and flight attendants (within limits set by industry standards or regulations governing maximum working hours). During the 2016 fiscal year, such productivity-based incentive payments accounted for approximately 41% of an average flight attendant’s total earnings and approximately 32% of the typical pilot’s compensation. Pilots at all of Ryanair’s 84 bases are covered by four, five or six year collective agreements on pay, allowances and rosters which fall due for negotiation at various dates between 2017 and 2021. Cabin crew at all Ryanair bases are also party to long term collective agreements on pay, allowances and rosters which expire in March 2021. In April 2016, Ryanair agreed to increase the pay of pilots and cabin crew in accordance with the terms of individual base collective agreements. Ryanair’s pilots are currently subject to IAA-approved limits of 100 flight-hours per 28-day cycle and 900 flight-hours per fiscal year. For the 2016 fiscal year, the average flight-hours for Ryanair’s pilots amounted to approximately 69 hours per month and approximately 826 hours for the complete year, a 4% decrease on the previous fiscal year. If more stringent regulations on flight hours were to be adopted, Ryanair’s flight personnel could experience a reduction in their total pay due to lower compensation for the number of hours or sectors flown and Ryanair could be required to hire additional flight personnel.
Ryanair considers its relations with its employees to be good. Ryanair currently negotiates with groups of employees, including its pilots, through “Employee Representation Committees” (“ERCs”) regarding pay, work practices and conditions of employment, including conducting formal negotiations with these internal collective bargaining units. Ryanair’s senior management meets regularly with the different ERCs to consult and discuss all aspects of the business and those issues that specifically relate to each relevant employee group and where necessary to negotiate with these collective bargaining units. Following negotiations through this ERC system, pilots and cabin crew at all Ryanair bases are covered by long term collective agreements which provide certainty on cost, pay and conditions.
Ryanair Holdings’ shareholders have approved a number of share option plans for employees and directors.
Ryanair Holdings has also issued share options to several of its senior managers. For details of all outstanding share options, see “Item 10. Additional Information––Options to Purchase Securities from Registrant or Subsidiaries.”
Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions
As of June 30, 2016, there were 1,254,473,074 Ordinary Shares outstanding. As of that date, 104,747,412 ADRs, representing 523,737,060 Ordinary Shares, were held of record in the United States by 50 holders, and represented in the aggregate 41.7% of the number of Ordinary Shares then outstanding. See “Item 10. Additional Information⎯Articles of Association” and “⎯Limitations on Share Ownership by Non-EU Nationals.”
Based on information available to Ryanair Holdings, the following table summarizes the holdings of those shareholders holding 3% or more of the Ordinary Shares as of June 30, 2016, June 30, 2015 and June 30, 2014, the latest practicable date prior to the Company’s publication of its statutory annual report in each of the relevant years.
As of June 30, 2016, the directors and executive officers of Ryanair Holdings as a group owned 59,322,452 Ordinary Shares, representing 4.7% of Ryanair Holdings’ outstanding Ordinary Shares as of such date. See also Note 19(d) to the consolidated financial statements included herein. Each of our shareholders has identical voting rights with respect to its Ordinary Shares.
As of March 31, 2016, there were 1,290,739,865 Ordinary Shares outstanding.
Based on information available to Ryanair Holdings plc, the following table summarizes shareholdings in excess of 3% or more of the Ordinary Shares as of March 31, 2016, March 31 2015 and March 31, 2014.
The Company has not entered into any “related party transactions” (except for remuneration paid by Ryanair to members of senior management and the Board of directors as disclosed in Note 27 to the consolidated financial statements) as defined in Item 7.B. of Form 20-F in the three fiscal years ending March 31, 2016 or in the period from March 31, 2016 to the date hereof.
Item 8. Financial Information
Legal Proceedings The Company is engaged in litigation arising in the ordinary course of its business. Although no assurance can be given as to the outcome of any current or pending litigation, management does not believe that any such litigation will, individually or in the aggregate, have a material adverse effect on the results of operations or financial condition of the Company, except as described below.
EU State Aid-Related Proceedings. On December 11, 2002, the European Commission announced the launch of an investigation into the 2001 agreement among Ryanair, the Brussels (Charleroi) airport and the government of the Walloon Region of Belgium, the owner of the airport, which enabled the Company to launch new routes and base up to four aircraft at Brussels (Charleroi). The European Commission’s investigation was based on an anonymous complaint alleging that Ryanair’s arrangements with Brussels (Charleroi) constituted illegal state aid.
The European Commission issued its decision on February 12, 2004. As regards to the majority of the arrangements between Ryanair, the airport and the region, the European Commission found that although they constituted state aid, they were nevertheless compatible with the EC Treaty provisions and therefore did not require repayment. However, the European Commission also found that certain other arrangements did constitute illegal state aid and therefore ordered Ryanair to repay the amount of the benefit received in connection with those arrangements.
On April 20, 2004, the Walloon Region wrote to Ryanair requesting repayment of such state aid, although it acknowledged that Ryanair could offset against the amount of such state aid certain costs incurred in relation to the establishment of the base, in accordance with the European Commission’s decision. Ryanair made the requested repayment.
On May 25, 2004, Ryanair appealed the decision of the European Commission to the Court of First Instance (“CFI”), requesting the court to annul the decision because:
• the European Commission infringed Article 253 of the EC Treaty by failing to provide adequate reasons for its decision; and
• the European Commission misapplied Article 87 of the EC Treaty by failing to properly apply the Market Economy Investor Principle (MEIP), which generally holds that an investment made by a public entity that would have been made on the same basis by a private entity does not constitute state aid.
In March 2008, Ryanair had its hearing before the CFI, and in December 2008, the CFI annulled the European Commission’s decision. Ryanair was repaid the €4.0 million that the Commission had claimed was illegal state aid.
The Belgian government has also withdrawn a separate €2.3 million action against Ryanair arising from the European Commission’s decision.
In January 2010, the European Commission concluded that the financial arrangements between Bratislava airport in Slovakia and Ryanair do not constitute state aid within the meaning of EU rules, because these arrangements were in line with market terms. In July 2012, the European Commission similarly concluded that the financial arrangements between Tampere airport in Finland and Ryanair do not constitute state aid. In February 2014, the European Commission found that the financial arrangements between Aarhus, Berlin (Schönefeld) and Marseille airports, and Ryanair, do not constitute state aid. In July 2014, the European Commission announced a ‘no state aid’ decision in respect of Dusseldorf (Weeze) airport. In October 2014, the European Commission concluded that Ryanair’s agreements with the Brussels (Charleroi), Frankfurt (Hahn), Alghero and Stockholm (Västerås) airports did not constitute State aid. In July and October 2014, the European Commission announced findings of state aid to Ryanair in its arrangements with Pau, Nimes, Angouleme, Altenburg and Zweibrücken airports, ordering Ryanair to repay a total of approximately €10.4 million of alleged aid. Ryanair has appealed the five “aid” decisions to the EU General court. These appeal proceedings are expected to take between two and four years.
Ryanair is facing similar legal challenges with respect to agreements with certain other airports, notably Lübeck, Klagenfurt, Paris (Beauvais), La Rochelle, Carcassonne, Cagliari, Girona, Reus and Târgu Mureș. These investigations are ongoing and Ryanair currently expects that they will conclude in late 2016, with any European Commission decisions appealable to the EU General Court.
State aid complaints by Lufthansa about Ryanair’s cost base at Frankfurt (Hahn) have been rejected by German courts, as have similar complaints by Air Berlin in relation to Ryanair’s arrangement with Lübeck airport, but following a German Supreme Court ruling on a procedural issue in early 2011, these cases will be re-heard by lower courts. In addition, Ryanair has been involved in legal challenges including allegations of state aid at Alghero, Marseille and Berlin Schönefeld airports. The Alghero case (initiated by Air One) was dismissed in its entirety in April
2011. The Marseille case was withdrawn by the plaintiffs (subsidiaries of Air France) in May 2011. The Berlin Schönefeld case, initiated by Germania, was discontinued following the European Commission’s finding in February 2014 that Ryanair’s arrangement with the airport contained no state aid.
In September 2005, the European Commission announced new guidelines on the financing of airports and the provision of start-up aid to airlines departing from regional airports, based on the European Commission’s finding in the Brussels (Charleroi) case, which Ryanair successfully appealed. The guidelines applied only to publicly owned regional airports, and placed restrictions on the incentives these airports could offer airlines to deliver traffic. Ryanair deals with airports, both public and private, on an equal basis and receives the same cost agreements from both. The guidelines have therefore had no impact on Ryanair’s business, although they have caused significant uncertainty in the industry in relation to what public airports may or may not do in order to attract traffic.