Ryanair sacks pilot who blew whistle over safety fears
No-frills airline taking legal action against Captain John Goss and Dispatches over 'defamation'
RYANAIR and its pilots are in a stand-off, according to The Times, with each side threatening the other with legal action after a senior pilot was sacked with "immediate effect" for raising questions about the airline's safety policy in a Channel 4 documentary.
The no-frills airline has issued legal proceedings against Captain John Goss and C4's Dispatches over allegations made in 'Ryanair: Secrets from the Cockpit', broadcast on Monday.
The documentary looked at three alleged incidents when pilots had raised the alarm over low fuel levels, which it claimed related to cost-cutting.
It also cited a survey, commissioned by trade association Ryanair Pilot Group (RPG), in which nearly 90 per cent of pilots said the airline did not have an open safety culture.
In the poll of more than 1,000 captains and first officers, two-thirds also said they did not feel comfortable raising safety issues with airline managers.
Ryanair has insisted its safety record is unblemished and has accused Goss, who has been with the airline for 25 years, of defamation. It claims Goss had confirmed in writing to the airline that he had no concerns over safety just three weeks earlier.
The RPG has described Goss's dismissal as an "unacceptable attack on a pilot of the highest professional and personal integrity" and is taking legal advice to help Goss to "vindicate his position in law".
But Ryanair has refused to engage with RPG. In a statement, it said: "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." ·