17 Jul 2011


Vivian White
25 August 2009 15:44
Mcnamara, Stephen
Stephen McNamara
Press Office
Dear Stephen
As I said when I called this morning, Panorama is just starting to prepare a
programme on Ryanair which we would presently intend to transmit at the
beginning of October- that is as Ryanair goes over to an entirely on-line booking
scheme - in other words to coincide with another public step by Ryanair, ahead, or out
of line, with other companies in the same business.
We would very much like your help
particular to have a research meeting early on, and to talk to Michael O'Leary on
I am the reporter on the programme and my phone number is XXXXXX; the producer
is Alan Holland; the assistant producer is Claire Dutfield-Onono.
We are just starting but I anticipate that the headline issues in the film will be these:
1) what is the secret of Ryanair's success- what is the business model - if Ryanair is
doing well how come anyone else is doing badly
2) How come Ryanair is the airline (even the consumer company) which people seem
to have the strongest feelings about (which we will reflect in the film) ... and
3) does Michael O'Leary mind about all that- and how vital is he to Ryanair?
Within these broad headings specific questions (which we would like to research
further with you) that now occur to us include:
From Vivian White, BBC-TV "Panorama.", cooperation, and participation in this film - in
How / is Ryanair surviving the recesssion
How / is it affecting the company's operations- cutbacks.
Going fully on-line. Risks? Road-tested?
the UK
high and sell
The low-cost business model. In the longer term will Ryanair (like Tesco's in) - "mature" and start offering a range of products - not just pile-em'em cheap..?
actually pay above the quoted price for extras - would a simpler "we'll carry
you for x" model be fairer
Is the present customer proposition transparent - fair - how many passengers?
very dissatisfied customers?
Does Ryanair mind about having provoked such furious on-line protests by
about it?
Does Ryanair mind about PR and its own reputation ..and what does it do
Ryanair and advertising: why it doesn't or hardly does.
What do its own customer surveys say about customer
Has Ryanair got an "ideal" "target" customer in mind.
As I say we may think of or come across more or other obvious questions later - or
you may draw them to our attention - so the above is not a full and final menu but a
good guide as to what we have in mind now.
I hope we'll talk again soon and I hope we'll meet you - and Michael O':Leary.soon.
Yours sincerely
Vivian White
Michael O'Leary's own anti-PR / shoot from the hip PR tactics.
Reporter, Panorama
Mcnamara, Stephen
26 August 2009 12:57
'Vivian White'
Dear Vivian,
Thank you for your email and your interest in Ryanair. Having reviewed your email I
do not think it appropriate for Ryanair to actively be involved in the consultation,
researching or making of yet another BBC programme which clearly looks to portray
Ryanair negatively.
If we were to participate all we would end up doing is denying false and misleading
claims by the BBC (as set out in your email) and/or unidentified and unrepresentative
minority online groups about Ryanair.
In relation to your email, please note the following:
1. Ryanair moved to an entirely online booking system on 20
transition has been very successful – nothing new is happening in October.
2. Ryanair leads other airlines, we are not
follow our lead (e.g. all economy flights, web bookings, avoidable baggage
charges etc.). Even BA is now charging for checked in bags and is getting rid of
‘free’ catering on short-haul flights - the only area BA doesn’t follow is in
matching Ryanair’s low fares and our no fuel surcharge guarantee.
3. We do not agree, nor is there any real evidence to suggest that Ryanair is the
airline which people
is the airline which most people choose to fly over all other competitors, which is
why we will carry 67 million passengers in the current year, almost three times
BA’s traffic, and a growth rate of 15% (9 million new customers) over last year’s
We do not agree with your statement that Ryanair provokes
by very dissatisfied customers”
passengers this year and why do people choose/prefer to fly with Ryanair over all
other airlines?
The answer is because only Ryanair provides an unbeatable combination of the lowest
fares (average of less than £30 one way – incl baggage charges this year), on a fleet of
brand new aircraft, with the best punctuality, the fewest cancellations and the least
lost bags of any major airline in Europe.
Ryanair can not spend time, yet again, defending our success to various BBC
programmes. I wish you the very best of luck with your new programmes but decline
your invitation to be involved.
Yours sincerely
Stephen McNamara
RE: From Vivian White, BBC-TV "Panorama."th May last and the“out of line” – other airlines inevitably“seem” to have the strongest feelings about. In fact Ryanair“furious online protestsif this were true then why will we carry 67 million
Head of Communications
Vivian White
04 September 2009 13:16
Mcnamara, Stephen
Stephen McNamara Head of Communications Ryanair
Dear Stephen
I understand that the Annual General Meeting of Ryanair is on September 24th.,
2009, and that this is open to the Press. Please may we attend ?
Yours sincerely
Vivian White
from Vivian White, BBC-TV Panorama.
Reporter, Panorama
Mcnamara, Stephen
04 September 2009 13:29
'Vivian White'
RE: from Vivian White, BBC-TV Panorama.
No. We have no intention of facilitating yet another BBC hatchet job.
Stephen McNamara
September 23, 2009
Panorama turns the camera towards
Martin Waller: City diary
programme sent someone along to a recent press conference by Airbus with the sole
purpose, it seemed, of extracting disobliging remarks about the Irish motormouth and
his airline. John Leahy, the chief operating officer, was repeatedly asked by the
Panorama planning a hatchet job on Michael O’Leary and Ryanair? The
Was it true Ryanair had shaken hands on an order and then walked away? Yes, said
Leahy, but “that’s business”. Would Airbus accept no more orders from Ryanair?
Don’t put words into my mouth, said Leahy, in no mind to badmouth an important
potential customer. Eventually, he was forced to concede that “I think it’s fair to say
Michael O’Leary plays hardball”.
The BBC man was obviously happy with that. Repeated calls to the BBC and the
programme failed to elicit a response, so we must suspect something is in the pipeline,
probably not favourable. I have some sympathy with Ryanair. Surely by now
everyone knows its flights are a) going to cost more than it says on the tin, and b) not
exactly going to be the height of luxury.
man about possible bust-ups with O’Leary.
-----Original Message-----
From: Mcnamara, Stephen
Sent: Thu 24/09/2009 1:21 PM
To: Vivian White
Subject: Ryanair
23rd September 2009
Dear Vivian,
I note in today's Times Online article that "Panorama is planning a
hatchet job on Michael O'Leary and Ryanair". Since you seem determined
to proceed with another biased and unbalanced piece on the UK's largest
and favourite airline, Michael O'Leary is willing to appear on your
programme, as long as you can facilitate either a live interview or
agree to an uncut pre-recorded interview. As I am sure you are aware
given the evident bias of Panorama and the BBC in this matter, we do not
want any response or reply to be censored or editorially cut by your
Can you please contact me to see how we can facilitate Michael O'Leary's
appearance on this programme, doubtless to rebut the false allegations
and biased reportage which it will undoubtedly feature.
Yours sincerely
Stephen McNamara
-----Original Message-----
From: Mcnamara, Stephen
Sent: Thu 24/09/2009 7:06 PM
To: Vivian White
Subject: Ryanair - for Michael
Re: BBC - TV "Panorama"
Dear Vivian,
It was a pleasure to meet you in Dublin this morning. I am sorry that the BBC and
Panorama are unwilling to agree to an unedited or uncensored interview. May I
repeat what Stephen said in his email yesterday, we would be delighted to defend
Ryanair on Panorama’s "hatchet job", but only if you allow us to respond to your false
and misleading questions in an uncensored and uncut way.
As for the two issues you raised this morning, may I confirm as follows:
1. Ryanair has no hidden charges. All of our charges are brought to the attention
of all passengers - and accepted by them - before they are allowed to make a booking
on Ryanair. Any additional charges over and above our guaranteed lowest fare (with
no fuel surcharges) are discretionary. All passengers can avoid these charges should
they wish, by declining those services.
2. As for your false claim that Ryanair "shook hands" on a deal with Airbus back
in January 2002. This claim, although repeated by Airbus, is not backed up by the
correspondence at that time. I did meet with Senior people in Airbus on Friday 11th
January 2002. We discussed terms for a large order for Airbus aircraft, which Airbus
knew at the time would be subject to final negotiations and Ryanair Board approval.
The fact that no final agreement was reached at the 11th January 2002 meeting was
confirmed by a fax received from Noel Forregard (the then Chief Executive Officer of
Airbus) some ten days later on 21st January 2002, offering further and better terms to
Ryanair in order to beat Boeing to win the Ryanair order. The idea that I would
commit billions of dollars of Ryanair shareholder funds to a multi-billion aircraft
order on the basis of a "handshake", without the approval of the Board of Directors of
Ryanair, is utterly absurd and Airbus know this claim is untrue. Airbus' claim that an
agreement was reached at the 11th January 2002 meeting was clearly disproven by the
improved terms they offered Ryanair ten days later on 21st January. These false
claims are just sour grapes on the part of Airbus.
Having said that we have since had a number of discussions with Airbus about the
possibility of acquiring Airbus aircraft and I remain hopeful and optimistic that at
some time in the future if Airbus aircraft are cheaper than Boeing, then we will order
Airbus aircraft. As with all things in Ryanair, we try to negotiate the best prices we
can, so that we can continue to lower the cost of air travel for our 66 million
passengers. This year while other airlines (such as British Airways) are losing
passengers, cutting routes and jobs, Ryanair is cutting fares (to less than £30) adding
routes, creating up to 1,000 new jobs and carrying 66 million passengers.

( John RyanairDontCare Said (TERMINATING 1000 TO Mr O'leary)........

I realise that Panorama have an anti Ryanair bias in this case, but thankfully it is not
supported by the travelling public who continue to flock to Ryanair and fly with us in
ever increasing numbers, not just in Britain, but indeed all over Europe.
Finally as an organisation funded by licence payers, shame on you for travelling to
Dublin today with British Midland and wasting yet more licence fee income, when
you could have flown on Ryanair through Gatwick, Stansted or Luton, at a fraction of
the high fares charged by British Midland and with fewer delays or no lost bags
either. Ryanair will keep on lowering the cost of air travel and who knows in time
perhaps even Panorama and/or the BBC will stop wasting money flying high fare,
frequently delayed airlines like BA and British Midland, and fly with Britain and
Europe's biggest and favourite airline.
Finally, if you change your mind on an uncensored or unedited interview, please feel
free to contact me and I would be delighted to answer any further misleading or
inaccurate questions you might have.
Warmest regards
Michael O'Leary
Chief Executive
Stephen McNamara
Head of Communications
Vivian White
25 September 2009 18:25
Mcnamara, Stephen
Stephen McNamara
Head of Communications September 25
Dear Stephen
Thank you very much for the emails which you and Ryanair’s Chief Executive
Michael O’Leary sent us yesterday, in connection with the programme we are making
about Ryanair. It was a pleasure to meet him, and yourself.
As I told you yesterday at the hotel (when you proposed it to us for the first time) we
are unable to accede to the condition that Mr O’Leary would only be prepared to do
an interview if we would agree to run it unedited in the final programme. We do not
give undertakings of that kind as a matter of principle, and we cannot do so in practice
in this case.
However, as we said yesterday, we certainly intend that our programme shall be fair
and balanced.
We are very grateful for the points of information which Mr O’Leary raised in his
email, and we shall take note of these. I anticipate that there may well be other points
we should want to check with you , to learn your response, and we should certainly
like to stay in touch with you, if we may.
Yours sincerely
Vivian White
Reporter, Panorama
Mr Vivian White
BBC Television Centre
Dear Vivian,
I refer to your letter dated 25
what other issues or false claims Panorama proposes to cover in addition to the two
you raised with me following our AGM, namely:
1. Hidden charges (of which there are none).
2. That Ryanair reached an agreement with Airbus at our meeting in Toulouse on 11
January 2002, which is another false claim, when Airbus were still improving
their offer 10 days later on 21
confirmatory letters, we would be pleased to let you have a look at them, as they
confirm that Airbus’ claims are false.
Are there any other false claims which you wish us to address, or is Panorama going
to confine its remaining coverage to subjective claims about “strong feelings” or
“furious online protests” from a tiny number of unidentified posters, who are totally
unrepresentative of the 67 million passengers we will carry this year?
Since Panorama won’t agree to either a live interview or an unedited pre-recorded
interview, I want to make sure that no other false allegations are published by
Panorama without affording us the right to respond factually to them.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes
Michael O’Leary
RE: Ryanair - for Michaelth., 2009th September, 2009th September, and would appreciate if you would confirmst January 2002. If you want sight of these
Chief Executive
Vivian White
01 October 2009 08:41
Mcnamara, Stephen
RE: Ryanair
Dear Stephen
I've received your email and the attached letter, thank you. We had taken note of the point you made
about Airbus in your previous correspondence. We'll be in touch again before the end of this week.
Thank you
Yours sincerely
Vivian White
Mr Vivian White
BBC Television Centre
Dear Vivian,
Your email of this morning to Stephen McNamara refers. You seem determined to
avoid the issue raised in my previous letter.
If the only claims Panorama can come up with is that Ryanair levies “hidden charges”
– when we don’t – or alternatively that Ryanair reached an agreement with Airbus at
our meeting in Toulouse on 11
please explain why Panorama is wasting licence payers’ money making a programme
on these two false claims?
You must surely have some more false claims to justify a half hour programme on
BBC. Since you didn’t raise these with me at our meeting in Dublin on 24
st October, 2009th January 2002 – when we clearly didn’t, can youth
September last, can you please now confirm what factual claims Panorama proposes
to make, so that Ryanair has a right of reply to them.
This is particularly important, given Panorama’s refusal to offer Ryanair either a live
interview or an unedited pre-recorded interview. As we will be publishing this
correspondence, I want to ensure that Panorama has been given every opportunity to
put your allegations to Ryanair, particularly when you seem so determined to prevent
Ryanair having a fair, balanced or unedited right of reply on the programme.
Yours sincerely
Michael O’Leary
Chief Executive
Vivian White
01 October 2009 13:02
Mcnamara, Stephen
RE: Ryanair
Dear Stephen
Thanks for the e-mail and the attached letter from Michael O'Leary. I shall be replying to you
substantively soon, and I hope that will cover the points you have raised.
But just to deal with a couple of matters now: we understand clearly and we will reflect in the film that
Ryanair and Airbus did NOT close a deal for Ryanair to purchase Airbus; and we understand clearly
that Ryanair insist they do not have any hidden charges.
We do not intend to make false claims about Ryanair but to describe and attempt to analyse its
remarkable success, and to see whether some commonly made criticisms levelled at it stand up or not,
which is why our working title is "Why Hate Ryanair?"
Yours sincerely
Vivian White
Stephen Mcnamara
Ryanair October 2
nd., 2009
Dear Stephen,
Thank you very much for your and Michael O’Leary’s recent correspondence.
We should like to check with you some points of fact, if we may, and also to ask for your
comments, if any, on various points which, we anticipate, will be made in the programme,
which is now scheduled for transmission on Monday week, October 12
1. The on-line check-in charge: when was this initiated, please, and what was the
original charge?
2. The £40 fee for failing to print off and bring with one’s boarding pass: please could
you tell us how this figure is arrived at?
3. The £5 card handling charge. What was this at when it was originally introduced?
4. Why do you charge separate card handling fees for simultaneous purchases of tickets
by one person on behalf of a number, e.g. for their family, whereas Ryanair is only
charged itself (e.g. by the bank) once for processing all these payments?
5. FYI: We will report that, as you say, Ryanair are clear that there are no “hidden
6. We have spoken to a website usability specialist who points out some pitfalls within
it: in particular, why is the option “no travel insurance required” between Latvia and
Lithuania on the drop-down “country of origin” menu? Why is there no “Do you
require travel insurance, yes/no?” box at this point?
7. What is the average level of fares being charged this year and the previous year?
8. How do you work out how to allocate fares at different levels for the same flight?
9. What market do you have in mind for the “Free” seats which you regularly offer?
10. Is there an “ideal” Ryanair customer?
11. Cabin staff: We have spoken to a number of cabin crew, including one, on the record;
we understand that around 50% of cabin staff work on an agency basis for Ryanair. Is
this correct; if not what is the correct figure?
12. Please can you confirm how much a cabin crew member has to pay to train; and what
if any guarantees are they given about future employment and contract lengths with
the company afterwards?
13. We understand that they are required to pay for their own uniform out of their own
funds. What does it cost?
14. Pilots. Similarly we have spoken to a number, and one on the record. We understand
that 45 minutes is allocated each day to flight preparation, which means that pilots
frequently have to do part of this work in their own time, as 45 minutes is often
insufficient. Can you confirm and comment on this?
15. Similarly we understand that around 50% of pilots are employed on an agency basis;
is this correct, please, and if not what is the correct figure?
16. A staff member says to us: “the company is, it will threaten to pull business and move
business around as it sees fit and it will threaten your job when it sees fit.” Have you
any comment, on this general assessment of the company?
17. Planes. We confirm that we clearly understand that Ryanair and Airbus did not reach
an agreement to purchase aircraft in 2002, although we will report that they came
close, in commercial negotiations. Airbus make no criticism of Ryanair.
18. FYI we will report that Ryanair are nimble in their choice of airports, and we have
spoken on the record to Olle Sundin of Lfv, about Ryanair leaving Malmo airport,
after the parties failed to reach agreement on terms for staying. He makes no criticism
of Ryanair.
19. We will report in general terms during the programme, repeatedly, not necessarily in
these words, that Ryanair drives hard bargains with those it deals with, just as was put
to Michael O’Leary when we met in Dublin last week, and which he agreed was the
20. Consumer loyalty. It has been suggested to us that the nature of the complaints that
are made against Ryanair has changed from those which essentially underline the
company’s own business model- (e.g. customers not familiar with the low-cost
model and complaining that were not offered, free, services which it never proposed
to offer) – to complaints that are now being made from customers who feel that they
are not being dealt with entirely fairly, e.g. “fines” if they get things wrong, and that
these sorts of complaints threaten to undermine trust in the company. Have you any
comment to make about this?
21. It is suggested to us that if the company should initiate a new transatlantic business
with both premium and low-cost passengers this will be difficult to run in
combination with the existing and very well known European low-cost model, and
therefore presents a potential commercial difficulty. Have you any comment to make?
I repeat that we intend that the programme will be a fair and balanced representation of the
company, and will reflect its importance and success. We may need raise with you other
points which arise between now and transmission, which (as I have said is now scheduled for
October 12
Thank you,
Yours sincerely,
Vivian White.
Reporter, Panorama.
Mr Vivian White
Dear Vivian,
Thanks for your letter 2
1. The on-line check-in charge was introduced on 20
announced the closure of airport check-in desks. This charge only applies to
passengers on our non promotional fares – which is currently less than 50% of our
passengers – and represents a substantial saving over the previous £10 airport
check-in fee.
2. The £40 penalty was designed to ensure that everybody would comply with their
agreement at the time of booking that they would web check-in and bring the
boarding pass to the airport.
3. The £5 handling charge was introduced in 2003, when Ryanair launched its
partnership with Visa Electron to promote the use of Visa Electron cards which
enables passengers to make free payments on Ryanair.com. More than 20 million
passengers annually now use Visa Electron.
4. We charge a handling fee for each passenger segment. This is the way we sell our
seats, price our fares, and this is the way we charge for all our fees.
5. Not alone are there no “hidden” charges on Ryanair, but all charges are agreed to
by passengers before they are allowed to make a booking on Ryanair.
6. I am not sure I understand this point, but since travel insurance is now declined by
more than 96% of passengers (i.e. less than 4% of passengers opt to buy it), it
seems clear that the travelling public (unlike your so called expert) have no
difficulty with our website usability.
7. This is publicly available information in our results, where we have guided that
average fares this year will be 20% lower than last year, falling from just £36 to
£29 this year.
8. We don’t “allocate” fares at different levels to the same flight as you suggest. The
cheapest seats are sold on a first come, first served basis and its only as each
percentage class of cheap seats is filled, that passengers move on to the next
highest fare. What we manage is our load factors, not our fares.
9. Is this a trick question? The “market” we have in mind for free seats is any
consumer in Europe who wants a free seat. Is this not blindingly obvious?
10. Yes. Any human being with a brain, a pulse and a credit card, who doesn’t want
to be ripped off with BA or Easyjet’s high fares and frequently delayed flights.
11. Yes. There is an approx 50/50 split between direct employees and agency staff in
cabin crew.
12. No Ryanair cabin crew member has to pay for training which they receive on an
annual basis entirely free of charge. People who wish to be trained as pilots or
cabin crew pay for their own training themselves and then apply to work for
Ryanair when they have qualified. I presume you paid for your journalism degree
and not the BBC. Nobody receives any guarantees about future employment from
Ryanair unless or until they are offered employment by Ryanair once they are
appropriately qualified as pilots or cabin crew.
13. Cabin crew are required to pay £300 for their uniform during their first year
working for the company. This is reimbursed to them after 12 months, when they
receive an annual uniform allowance of £250 This is designed to encourage cabin
crew to stay with us for at least 12 months and means we don’t waste money on
giving uniforms out to people who decide after a week, a month, or 3 months that
they don’t like flying and quit.
14. Complete rubbish. 45 minutes is more than sufficient for 2 pilots (Captain and
First Officer) to complete flight preparations for their flights. Remember these
people are flying on the same aircraft every day, on routes they know very well,
where the only variable will be weather and passenger loads. We would be happy
to show you what’s involved in such flight preparation which can easily be
completed within 15 minutes. This is an example of Panorama clearly straying
into industrial relations, rather than focusing on facts.
15. Yes the 50/50 split of direct employees and agency is correct.
16. Rubbish. As a company which is creating up to 1,000 new jobs each year, we
don’t respond to false and subjective claims which are clearly motivated by an
industrial relations agenda, rather than fact. No employee can be “threatened”.
Any employee that is so threatened has the full panoply of legal rights and
considerable employment protection law to defend them.
17. Noted.
18. Noted.
19. Ryanair guarantees the lowest air fares in every route we operate. Since we
deliver the largest passenger volumes, like other large organisations including
Ikea, Tesco or McDonalds, we expect to obtain the best prices from all suppliers
we deal with on behalf of our consumers.
20. Consumer loyalty is clearly demonstrated by our continuing rapid traffic growth.
66m passengers this year prove our consumer loyalty. Ryanair receives far fewer
customer complaints than any other airline. Fines only arise when passengers fail
to honour our policies and procedures which they agree to on the internet before
they are allowed to make a booking on Ryanair.
21. Ryanair has repeatedly confirmed that it will not enter a transatlantic business
Finally, if Panorama intended this programme to be a fair and balanced representation
of Ryanair, you would have agreed to a live or uncut pre-recorded interview with
Michael O’Leary, something we have repeatedly offered, but you have repeatedly
refused. Even the above questions demonstrate that this programme is neither fair,
nor balanced, relying as it does on a series of subjective and factually inaccurate
claims from a tiny number of disgruntled employees, suppliers and/or customers.
Panorama cannot detract from Ryanair’s astonishing growth, and extraordinary
popularity with the travelling public of Europe, which this year will see Ryanair –
during one of the worst downturns in airline history – grow by another 8 million plus
passengers annually from 58m last year to over 66m this year. This at a time when
other self professed “service” airlines like British Airways, Air France and Lufthansa
are suffering passenger declines as their customers switch to Ryanair.
Yours sincerely
Stephen McNamara
Head of Communications
th October, 2009nd October. I will use your numbering for ease and clarity ofth May last, when we first
Vivian White
06 October 2009 11:42
Mcnamara, Stephen
RE: Ryanair
Dear Stephen
Please may I check another thing with you. A number of people have told us that Michael O'Leary once
said of his stsff that they are "lemons.... we cut them in half, we squeeze the juice and then we throw
them away..."
Please would you confirm that Michael O'leary has made a remark broadly in these terms?
Thank you
Yours sincerely
Vivian White
Vivian White
06 October 2009 14:36
Mcnamara, Stephen
RE: Ryanair
Dear Stephen
May I make sure I have correctly understood your point 13, as it applies to agency staff. Is it the case
that someonee still employed as cabin crew on agency terms would have paid £300 for their uniform
but would not be reimbursed for this (for the reasons you have set out) until and unless they were taken
on as staff members and then employed for a year?
thank you
Yours sincerely
Vivian White
Mcnamara, Stephen
06 October 2009 15:02
'Vivian White'
RE: Ryanair
Agency staff also quality for the £250 allowance on the occasion of their first anniversary of
commencing work with their agency.
As we are now playing email ‘table tennis’ I ask that you compile any remaining questions
and forward them to me in one document – this will make both our lives a lot easier.
Vivian White
08 October 2009 14:04
Mcnamara, Stephen
RE: Ryanair
Dear Stephen
Here are a few further points that we should like to check with you. thank you
Re your answer to our question 3. What was the card handling charge when it was
originally introduced please, (when it was not £5) and when did it rise and by what
steps to its present level? (n.b. Dublin Airport in a press release on July 30
Ryanair’s card handling charge had increased by 285% since 2006)
Fyi we are aware and shall state that there is no card handling charge if you use Visa
Electron. But fyi the UK Cards Association have told us that this card is only issued
to 8% of UK debit card holders. How do you calculate that 20 million passengers
(almost a third of your passenger journeys?) use Visa Electron, please?
Re our follow-up enquiry about point 13: You have told us that “Agency staff also
quality for the £250 allowance on the occasion of their first anniversary of
commencing work with their agency.” But our question is: if you were employed on
an agency basis, is it the case that the £300 cost of the uniform will not be repaid to
you unless and until you have been on the staff for a year?
th stated that
Mr Vivien White
Dear Vivien,
I can't remember when the handling charge was originally introduced, but as the take up of Visa
Electron cards has increased, we have continued to raise the non Visa Electron handling charge, to
encourage more and more people to switch to using the free of charge Visa Electron. This year more
than 25 million passengers will use Visa Electron and we hope to get the take up above 50% of all
passengers within the next 18 months.
There are currently over 100 million Visa Electron cards in issue across Europe. In the last 12 months
more than 20 million passengers paid for their Ryanair tickets using Visa Electron. This is a factual
number taken form on our bookings system. As I am sure you will appreciate, many UK citizens hold
Visa Electron cards through UK and non-UK financial institutions.
All agency staff receive their full annual uniform allowance once they have been working for the
agency/flying for Ryanair for a 12 month period. In effect all a cabin crew member has to do to
recover the cost of their uniform is to fly here for 12 months. After that they receive this annual
uniform allowance as a yearly supplement, despite not needing to replace the uniform on an annual
I trust this answers all outstanding questions and I look forward to seeing the programme next Monday,
even if sadly it won't have an unedited interview with Michael O'Leary, because Panorama have
repeatedly refused our offer of a live or an unedited pre-recorded interview. Clearly Panorama's
rejection of a Ryanair interview will undermine the false claims in your "investigation".
Best wishes
Stephen McNamara
Head of Communications

Below are confidential correspondence from Ryanair to Panorama from 2009.
As you can see O'Leary scared of ''WHAT''.



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