Just as Ireland budget airline Ryanair emerges as a true leader in the European flight industry, news pilots and employees question the carrier’s methods breaks bad for Michael O’Leary‘s super successful venture. According to a survey of more than 1000 captains and first officers who work for the airline, 9 in 10 want to see in safety impact inquiry conducted on Ryanair.
Accused of cutting corners where safety may be concerned in order to have an edge price wise, Ryanair has pointedly denied any such safety issues exist. In response to these most recent contentions, Ryanair spokespersons have called the allegations Ryanair Pilot Group (RPG) “false and defamatory.”
Meanwhile pilots in the union suggest that those members on zero-hours contracts need to stay clear of speaking up on safety. Earlier this month the RPG contended Ryanair Facebook and Twitter accounts were shut down in what appeared to be an attempt to silence the employees. The tweet embedded below is from the pilot’s new twitter feed.
“There is no competition on safety issues” Evert van Zwol http://t.co/COTg4kG0rU
— RyanairPilotGroup (@RPGofficialpage) August 13, 2013
This press release contends the airline shut down without notice the Facebook and Twitter accounts Ryanair Pilot Group (RPG). Evert van Zwol, Chairman of the RPG Interim Council made this comment via that release:
“It can only be assumed from these two exceptional events that there seems to be an orchestrated and deliberate attempt to silence the public voice of the Ryanair pilots.”
About 5 months ago this video was uploaded onto rht RPG YouTube channel. This title is strikingly sensationalist, but aptly tagged if the union’s allegations are proven accurate. Ryanair Mayday Mayday, speaks of profit at any cost.
On the Ryanair side of this bad PR equation, the airline makes points in reflecting on the RPG’s longstanding “sour grapes” complexion over the years of effort at unionized Ryanair. This Guardian article quotes the airline so:
“(the group) lacks any independence, objectivity or reliability” and the survey was part of a 25-year failed campaign to win union recognition.”
Regardless of the accuracy of the allegations, the fact the RPG said gave the survey results to Ryanair and the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), and that the contentions are revealed to the public, makes for a powder keg of a bad branding situation. And for most travelers Ryanair CEO O’Leary’s transparency in telling newspapers fuel emergencies are not uncommon, is surely not comforting to his passengers.
Finally, the Spanish Air Authority concluding Ryanair aircraft land frequently with the minimum required fuel, is but one piece of a budget flight puzzle looking ever increasingly negative toward O’Leiry’s company. For Ryanair’s part on the recent Channel 4 documentary “Ryanair: Secrets from the Cockpit”, the airline has said they will sue Channel 4 over their ‘Dispatches’ programme below. We’re trying to contact Ryanair and the pilots for comment. In the meantime we’ll keep you updated.