A row has erupted between Ryanair and BBC over the broadcasting of a Panorama documentary on the budget airline.
The programme, scheduled to be aired on Monday evening and titled Why Hate Ryanair?, is an investigation into the reasons why it is apparently so unpopular with many customers.
Ryanair has accused the BBC of making a “hatchet job”. It said it was particularly unhappy that the BBC had declined an offer of an interview with Michael O’Leary, that Ryanair insisted would be either live or unedited.
Stephen McNamara, the head of communications for Ryanair, said: “Ryanair has wasted the last six weeks responding to Panorama’s false claims about Ryanair. Panorama has repeatedly refused Ryanair’s offer of an unedited interview, either live or pre-recorded, because they know that these false claims are rubbish and don’t stand up to scrutiny.
“Ryanair calls on the BBC to explain why Panorama refuses to provide balance in its programming and why licence payers are funding such rubbish-filled investigations which don’t stand up to scrutiny.”
A BBC spokesman said that Panorama had asked Ryanair for an interview with Mr O’Leary, but that the airline had sought to impose conditions on how this would be carried out. He said: “We wanted to interview Michael O’Leary but he wanted editorial control and that is something no broadcaster would agree to. We urge viewers to make their own minds up by watching Panorama on Monday.”