Ryanair is threatening to sack pilots after being criticised by air accident investigators over a series of dangerous approaches to airports, according to a report in the UK’s The Times newspaper.
he paper says that in the latest incident to emerge, an aircraft flew so low over rooftops that it triggered two warnings in the cockpit and sixteen complaints from alarmed residents.
It was the third serious incident in less than a year, and the fourth in two years, involving a Ryanair jet approaching an airport too fast or at the wrong height and being forced to abort landing, said the Times report.
All Ryanair staff are under pressure to meet turnaround times of only 25 minutes, the tightest in the industry, and pilot unions say that this can lead to mistakes.
The Times claims that Michael O’Leary, the Ryanair chief executive, has responded to the incidents by issuing a memo to all pilots telling them that they will be demoted the first time they make a dangerous approach and sacked for a second offence.
The memo, a copy of which has been obtained by The Times, states that a new disciplinary procedure is being introduced in response to a series of ‘high energy approach incidents over the past two years’.
Pilot unions said that the memo would force the problem underground, leaving pilots too frightened of losing their jobs to cooperate with efforts to find out why the incidents were happening.