Captain John Goss was dismissed with immediate effect and Ryanair said they plan to pursue legal action against him after he questioned the airline’s safety.
“We will not allow a Ryanair employee to defame our safety on national television,” the airline said in an e-mailed statement.
Pilots are wary of raising concerns and are encouraged to carry as little fuel as possible, the Channel 4 “Dispatches” program reported, citing a survey conducted by the Ryanair Pilots Group, which claims to represent more than half of the carrier’s pilots. The fuel issue arose when three jets declared emergencies before touching down in Valencia, Spain, after diversions from Madrid last year.
Goss was one of five pilots elected to the pilots’ group interim council in June. During his 26 years at Ryanair he acted as a flight safety officer and his record was “blemish free,” the RPG said in an e-mailed statement.
“The immediate reaction of Ryanair to safety issues brought to their attention is to deny the existence of any problems and to effectively shoot the messenger,” RPG Chairman Evert van Zwol said in the statement. “Safety experts are agreed that a sound safety culture is based on pilots having faith in a non-punitive approach and dealing directly and transparently with all concerns raised.”