The pilots' union Sepla has today expressed its concern about the number of recent incidents involving Ryanair - an airline that is taking the 'low cost' concept to new extremes, pushing legal and safety limits to the maximum.
In an interview on Radio Nacional, accident investigator and spokesperson for Sepla's technical department, Juan Carlos Lozano, said the potential problems being created by O'Leary's airline were not being mirrored by other 'low cost' airlines.
He went on to say that although O'Leary had tried to pass the sudden spate of incidents off as due to the large number of additional flights over the summer period, it was obvious that these "incidents" were on the up.
Lozano pointed out that he and his colleagues had been reporting Ryanair's safety issues, as well as the conditions facing the airline's pilots since 2009, as it was simply not viable to operate an airline with "this policy of pressure, always working to the limits".
The Sepla spokesperson urged the Irish 'low cost' airline to change its philosophy with regard to cost-cutting, since fuel management "is an additional cost, but one that needs to be handled with extreme care".
"Having a bit of spare fuel allows pilots time to think and to make decisions and if this variable is limited, obviously the crew's capacity to react is compromised and the chances of a mistake happening are suddenly multiplied", he warned.
In response to questions about the controversial minimum fuel policy Ryanair is now operating, Lozano said it was designed to save money primarily, but also to save time in the turnaround at airports.
"The executives send instructions to the crew, emphasising that for every 'x' kilos extra they pump in, the company loses 'x' amount of money. As a consequence, those in charge of the aircraft are confronted by a cost-cutting exercise that could lead them into difficult situations", he explained.
The Sepla spokesman added that despite the recent spate of incidents, one couldn't describe Ryanair as an "unsafe" airline, because if this were the case "it would have had its operating licence revoked", although evidently, "they are operating on the very limits of legality".
With respect to the implicit dangers of this type of policy, Lozano made it clear that it had to be the airline itself, rather than the Irish authorities, that decided whether the sudden increase in the number of 'incidents' warranted taking action, but that if no action were taken, they are "courting disaster".
RYANAIR A DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN...
Michael O'Leary,David Bonderman and the Full Ryanair board should step down or shareholders vote a no confidence on the Full board as safety must be priority...Pilots and Cabin Crew at Ryanair need respect & Dignity which O'Leary & Bonderman are not capable of giving......