Ryanair pilots have called on the Irish Aviation Authority IAA to investigate serious concerns they have about the airline’s safety culture.
A Channel 4 Dispatches documentary last night alleged Ryanair aircraft frequently flew with the minimum of fuel and that the cockpit voice recordings relating to many serious incidents disappeared.
Ryanair hit back after the programme, describing it as “false and defamatory” and that it “wrongly impugned” the airline’s 29-year “excellent” safety record. It said the IAA, which monitors Ryanair’s safety record, conclusively disproves “false claims about Ryanair’s fuel policy and/or Ryanair’s outstanding safety record”.
The unofficial Ryanair Pilot Group says it has polled more than 1,000 pilots and first officers at Ryanair, over a third of the airline’s total, and found 94 per cent wanted regulators to conduct an inquiry into the impact of employment practices on safety.
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The programme investigated a situation in July last year where three Ryanair flights diverted from Madrid to Valencia issued Mayday fuel alerts.
Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg
Dispatches revealed an internal Ryanair memo which found there had been three fuel emergencies prior to last year’s incident, including one over Alicante airport.