Ryanair: Are they intimidating pilots and making their service unsafe?

12 August 2013

ryanair Pilots have taken part in a survey which has revealed something very worrying about Ryanair, with those polled saying that they didn't believe the budget airline had a "transparent safety culture."

The company, which refuses to recognise trade unions, threatened to sack anyone who took part in the survey (or what they called the "so-called safety petition"), which came about after pilots got no joy when raising concerns about safety in a previous move.

As a result, the survey found that more than half of Ryanair's pilots were reluctant to raise safety issues with external bodies for fear of losing their job for 'gross misconduct'. Nine out of ten pilots said they believed the airline was trying to suppress pilots from raising safety concerns with 70% saying that they had no confidence in the safety reporting system of Ryanair.

This comes on the back of the news of Ryanair coming under fire from Spanish air accident investigators after the airline had to declare a series of fuel emergencies.

The Comisión de Investigación de Accidentes e Incidentes de Aviación Civil said: "The company’s fuel savings policy, though it complies with the minimum legal requirements, tends to minimize the amount of fuel with which its airplanes operate and leaves none for contingencies below the legal minimums."

"This contributed to the amount of fuel used being improperly planned and to the amount of fuel onboard dropping below the required final fuel reserve."

With flights appearing to run out of fuel and pilots fearing for their safety, do you fancy flying with Ryanair or is this just a load of bluster?

TOPICS:   Travel   Consumer Advice

10 comments

  • Dick
    “The company’s fuel savings policy, though it complies with the minimum legal requirements, tends to minimize the amount of fuel with which its airplanes operate and leaves none for contingencies below the legal minimums.” This is like wonga. If they are not doing anything illegal, then they are not doing anything wrong in the eyes of the law. If it is necessary to have extra fuel for contingencies below the legal minimum, then the legal minimum needs to be increased. Target the law makers, not the companies that don't break the law.
  • Me
    Someone has been watch channel 4 dispatches too much I think as this on on tonight so should be found on the web very easily
  • Me
    Meant watching instead of watch.
  • Anon
    @Dick Let's say that the Irish aviation authorities are not the smartest or the most vigilant of regulators, and Ryanair is the biggest airline in Europe - their biggest 'client' by far. If the Irish regulators start cracking down on the airline then they'll just de-register and move to Eastern Europe, and their operations would be unaffected due to EU open-skies rules.
  • Jose L.
    Anyone that flies with Ryanair deserves everything they get. it's the people on the ground I'm concerned for!
  • Simon
    They are an accident waiting to happen Next time you book a Ryanair flight, it could be yours that has an accident No pilot I know enjoys working for Ryanair If only the public knew about the near accidents they have on a monthly basis, as a commercial pilot I know many
  • Michiel
    Clearly an accident waiting to happen. The minimum fuel required by law is leniency towards Ryanair, or any other airline. A smart airline will want to stay well away from the utter legal limit, because if something goes wrong you might find yourself on the other side of the limit. Plain and simple greed and foolishness. A simple comparison: the minimum tread on a car tire, it is 1.6 mm, but any driver knows this is the absolute minimum, legally. But technically you should replace a tire once it gets below 3 mm. So the 1.6 is an act of extreme leniency, as long as you drive smoothly and don't encounter a downpour you will probably be ok, but performance has already decreased. It is the same with the minimum fuel limit, as long as conditions are relatively easy, not too much delay, go-arounds or having to divert to far, it will be ok. But aviation is much more inherently dangerous if you ignore safety, or skimp on fuel to save a little money. For me it is clear, Ryanair does not care about its personell or customers, just brutally firing a pilot who does have a conscience. I will never fly with them, hope it goes bankrupt soon, and that a responsible professional company can take their place and hire their pilots with a conscience.
  • Mike
    I work in aviation and have been a flight planner for years. The legal minimum is just that and all airlines, not only Ryanair, will only take the minimum fuel required for any flight (it get's more expensive to carry fuel around which is heavy and take more fuel to carry). Most airlines, however, add additional fuel for expected delays from Eurocontrol (the governing aviation body for Europe), congested airports or airways. It sounds like Ryanair isn't doing this. Given the fact that fuel is the biggest cost for any airline, low-cost or legacy, it would make perfect sense that the cheap tactics from Ryanair that customers are exposed to are only the tip of the iceberg.
  • Foz
    Call me cynical but I can imagine the likes of Michael O'Leiry deleberately sanctioning this during a Monday management meeting so that his flights get priority landing in order to bolster their supposed promptness claims. The man is a complete tight-fisted arse.
  • R C.
    I fly 80 - 100 thousand miles a year and would never fly with ryan air bunch of cowboys did it once big mistake its more expensive when you factor in the baggage costs and overpriced crap food etc, every i know in the airline world say ryan air are lucky they haven't had an accident yet they are unsafe and should be closed down. WE should take control of the skys get these chepo airlines closed down before we have a real incident, the CEO should be arrested and placed in jail for endangerment of life, what a potato head..

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