Transavia Penalized for Unfair Intern Employment


This article was last updated on April 9, 2024

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Overview of the Transavia Case

Transavia Airlines, a reputable company in the aviation sector, had to part with a whopping 46,000 Euros as penalty for unlawfully deploying sixty interns as full-time employees. Not only does the company face a hefty fine, but the interns also deserved a rightful wages and benefits retrospectively. Consequently, the aftermath of these miscalculations cost the airline an enormous total of 623,000 Euros.

Unfolding the Investigation on Transavia

The Dutch Labor Inspectorate initiated a series of investigations against Transavia in the previous year following a sequence of reported complaints. The approached probes revealed that sixty students from five diverse vocational institutions were unfairly dealt with by the airline company during the course of their internships. A spokesperson from Transavia affirmed that the company was already anticipating the hefty penalty and, hence, had made arrangements for its payment. The spokesperson further added, “We have taken note of this reporting instance and will initiate an appropriate inquiry.”

Scrutinizing the Employment Parameters

The focus of this investigative research circled the interns who served the airline between February 2022 and June 2022. Astoundingly, they were not only assigned the same responsibilities as the flight attendants but also had to follow a similar work schedule. Citing these facts, the Labor Inspectorate concluded that an employment bond was significant between the company and the interns, and hence, they were underpaid during their term of service. The Labor Inspectorate did not limit their actions to this lawsuit but held a series of deliberative conversations with several educational institutions and the Education Inspectorate. This was to stress that “the focal point of internships must be learning” not working as regular employees. The Labor Inspectorate has accentuated that companies should refrain from employing interns as regular employees.


Transavia’s fine is a stern reminder for corporations to maintain the integrity of internships and ensure they remain as learning opportunities rather than a cheap labor source. Fair responsibility distribution, adequate compensation, and work-life balance are crucial aspects of sustaining a productive learning environment for interns.

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