Budget airline Transavia is facing a fine after the Dutch Labour Inspectorate revealed the low-cost carrier was using trainees and interns as full employees on regular flights.
Dozens of students worked on flights as cabin crew members for an extended period of time while only receiving a low internship allowance, according to the NL Times. These students were hired as trainees for an internship, from February to June 2022, and they were treated as if they were professional flight attendants.
The Dutch Labour Inspectorate denounced the situation following an investigation with filings from more than sixty students. The Inspectorate quickly came to the conclusion that the pupils were underpaid during that period, in violation of the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act.
Transavia conceded that internships in 2022 had “not gone according to plan” and the airline promised to pay the students’ back wages and talk to MBO trade schools about how the internships should be carried out.
According to the NL Times, Transavia is about to receive an official report from the Dutch Inspectorate with additional details of a fine or other sanctions. The company recently received a letter stating that it is obliged to pay the affected employees the back pay they are due within four weeks, including wages and holiday allowance.
“In anticipation of the report about the investigation, the Labor Inspectorate has indicated in conversations with Transavia that our supervision of a group of cabin trainees in the summer of 2022 turned out differently than we had planned. We deeply regret this,” the Air France-KLM subsidiary responded in a written statement.