Ryanair boss hits out at pilots in cancelled flights dispute
Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, has taken a tough line against the airline's pilots, saying they may have to see their annual leave cut by a week, and adding that they do not have a difficult job.
At the budget carrier's annual general meeting on Thursday, O’Leary claimed some pilots had been offered pay raises and bonuses in exchange for aiding the company in resolving the scheduling error.
Thousands of flights have been cancelled by Ryanair after it admitted 'messing up' its roster for the remainder of the year.
Pilots have threatened to take industrial action over the dispute, but O'Leary was adamant that this was not going to be the case.
"I don’t even know how there would be industrial action in Ryanair," O'Leary said. "There isn’t a union."
"I would challenge any pilot to explain how this is a difficult job or how it is they are overworked, or how anybody who by law can’t fly more than 18 hours a week could possibly be suffering from fatigue," he added.
Ryanair had offered captains a bonus of up to £12,000 and first officers £6,000 in an attempt to get them to cooperate, but pilots said they wanted better working conditions instead.
The cancellations are estimated to have cost Ryanair a total of £22m, with that figure expected to rise if the dispute with pilots is prolonged.