Ryanair is taking legal action following the Channel 4 Dispatches programme ‘Ryanair: Secrets from the Cockpit’, which contained criticism over the airline’s safety records.
The airline said earlier this week: “Ryanair rejected the false and defamatory claims made by the Channel 4 Dispatches programme which wrongly impugn and smear Ryanair’s outstanding 29-year safety record based on nothing more than anonymous hearsay claims made by individuals whose identity was concealed, and/or by representatives of pilot unions of Ryanair’s competitor airlines masquerading as a non-Ryanair Pilot Group,”
To show that its safety record is above average the airline has released the latest air traffic performance data from NATS, the UK’s air navigation service provider.
The quarterly performance table shows that, for level busts, Ryanair recorded an annual rate of 0.94 per 100,000 movements, compared to an all-airline average of 6.71.
For failure to follow ATC procedure events, Ryanair recorded 0.93 incidents per 100,000 movements, compared with an all-airline average of 1.78. And for callsign confusion events (leading to recognition errors between pilots and ATC), Ryanair recorded 3.73 incidents per 100,000 movements, compared with 4.58 all-airline average.
Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: “These independent statistics underline Ryanair’s excellent operating procedures, our outstanding 29-year safety record and our relentless commitment to safety.”
In addition to the legal action against Dispatches, Ryanair has also sacked the pilot who raised questions about the airline’s safety policy on the programme, instructing its lawyers to issue legal proceedings against pilot John Goss over his “defamatory contributions”.
In a statement, it said: “We will not allow a Ryanair employee to defame our safety on national television just three weeks after he confirmed in writing to Ryanair that he had no concerns with safety and no reason to make any confidential safety report to either the IAA (Irish Aviation Authority) or Ryanair.”
Goss had been with the airline for around 25 years and was expected to retire in October.