Ryanair has indicated its readiness to start operating French bases again, citing a national supreme-court judgement relating to social insurance payments collected for Marseille-stationed crew between 2006 and 2010.

The budget carrier says the ruling reinforces one previously handed down by the European Court of Justice, which deemed social-security certificates issued by the Ireland to be binding on French authorities. The case will now be reheard by Parisian appeal court, adds Ryanair, which expects repayment of some €13 million ($15 million) "in due course".

It says the supreme-court decision "paves the way for Ryanair to consider re-entering the French market", adding: "We are already in discussions with a number of French airports, and the French ministry of labour, which we hope will lead to Ryanair announcing some bases in France in the near future, but with pilots and cabin crew based in France, on local French contracts, and paying their social taxes in France rather than Ireland."

FlightGlobal schedules data shows that Ryanair's French capacity has stayed relatively flat since 2013.

Ryanair French capacity 2010-18

Source: Cirium Dashboard