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A judge has refused to award Ryanair €25,000 damages against an Italian pilot who quit his job for health reasons 10 months after completing an expensive pilot training course.
Judge Terence O’Sullivan said he could not consider making such an award to the airline without first hearing evidence from an Italian legal expert as to whether or not Captain Luca Billetto’s entitlements under Italian law might be infringed.
Judge O’Sullivan said that although Captain Billetto was not in the Circuit Civil Court to challenge Ryanair’s €25,000 claim, a defence had been entered on his behalf by a Giovanni Borgna, Studio Legale, Milano, who had been given power of attorney to represent his interests.
Barrister Paul Twomey, counsel for Ryanair, told the court that Captain Billetto, of Via Sempione 11, Bergamo, Italy, in June 2016 had signed a contract of employment with the airline which included an agreement that should he resign his position within a period of five years he would compensate the airline for part or all of the €25,000 spent on his Boeing 737 transition training.
Mr Twomey, who appeared with McDowell Purcell Solicitors, said the contract included a clause whereby Ryanair would, by a deferred payment system, deduct €5,000 per annum from Captain Billetto’s salary over five years until the training cost would be repaid. He would then move up to full salary as a pilot.