Ryanair, the World’s Most Hated Airline, are accused of intimidating pilots who want to raise safety issues with the airline’s management.
A survey of more than 1,000 pilots revealed deep misgivings over the no-frills airline’s approach, according to an article on Telegraph.co.uk
The results of the survey, which will be made public on Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary tonight suggested many did not believe the airline had a “transparent safety culture.”
Just over a third of the company’s pilots took part in the survey commissioned by the Ryanair Pilot Group, an unofficial body at the company, which refuses to recognise trade unions.
The survey was triggered by a memorandum to pilots by management following an earlier petition raising safety concerns.
Ryanair warned any pilot signing what it described as a “so-called safety petition” could face the sack for gross misconduct.
Following the Ryanair memo, the survey found that more than half the pilots were more reluctant to raise safety issues with external bodies.
More than nine out of 10 pilots, who participated in the survey, said they believed the airline was trying to suppress pilots from raising safety concerns.
Just under 70 per cent of respondents said they no longer continued to have confidence in the safety reporting system of Ryanair after receiving the memo.
Nearly 90 per cent called on regulators to take action against the airline for issuing the memo.
The survey comes within weeks of Ryanair’s drive to minimize fuel costs coming under fire from Spanish air accident investigators.
A report into a series of incidents in which the no-frills airline had to declare a series of fuel emergencies has raised questions over the company’s operating practices.
Comisión de Investigación de Accidentes e Incidentes de Aviación Civil, the Spanish Equivalent to the Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch, was highly critical of Ryanair .
This followed an investigation of examining incidents at Alicante on May 14 last year and Valencia on June 26, when Ryanair aircraft declared fuel emergencies.
It concluded: “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.”
Responding to the Spanish investigation, a Ryanair spokesman, denied the airline’s pilots flew with “minimum fuel”.
The airline said the investigators’ report was factually inaccurate and insisted the Irish Aviation Authority had “no concerns over Ryanair’s fuel policy”.
It declined to comment on the survey describing the group as a “PR front for the pilot unions of competitor airlines.”