Budget Irish airline Ryanair responds to France24.com's article about the controversy that ensued after three of its planes made emergency landings in Spain due to low fuel levels.
Following an article published August 23 on FRANCE 24's website entitled "Ryanair sparks safety fears over cost-cutting measures", the Irish airline has sent the following response.
“Ryanair fully complies with all Boeing, FAA, European and national regulations and has an unblemished 28 year safety record; safely operating 500,000 flights per annum.
As explained by Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary in a press conference held on 23 August 2012 in Madrid, accompanied by Ryanair Chief Pilot Capt. Ray Conway and Madrid Base Captain Steve McGrath, the 3 fuel emergency landings in Valencia on 26 July were caused by thunderstorms over Madrid, with the result that these aircraft were required to fly for over one hour more and yet each of the 3 still landed with 28, 31, and 34 mins of reserve fuel respectively. In each case Ryanair’s pilots were following diversion instructions of Spanish ATC, and the safety procedures of Ryanair, the Irish Aviation Authority and the European Aviation Safety Authority. 28 fuel emergency landings occurred in the UK over the past 2 years. Such declarations of emergency simply allow to get priority for landing.
Ryanair looks forward to publishing the results of the investigation of these 3 landings, which will confirm that each of the 3 pilots arrived at Madrid with more than 90 minutes of surplus fuel (which exceeds their minimum requirements),and declared fuel emergencies when their aircraft were approaching their minimum 30 minutes landing fuel. Each of these 3 Captains took extra fuel, prioritised passenger safety and complied with safety procedures which require them to declare a fuel emergency if they believe they are approaching their minimum landing fuel.
At no stage were the passengers or the crew ever placed in any danger.
There has never been and there will never be any pressure on pilots concerning fuel reserves.
Security has always been and will remain an essential priority for Ryanair.”
Before the original article was published, FRANCE 24 contacted Ryanair for comment, but received no reply. The newsroom stands by its content.
Date created : 2012-09-05