Ryanair pilot group demands O’Leary’s head


A group representing Ryanair pilots has called on chief executive Michael O’Leary to quit, claiming it is “inevitable” the airline is facing more costly cancellations.

In its letter, the European Employee Representative Council (EERC) – an unofficial body representing mostly pilots based on the continent – tells him the no-frills carrier has failed to stem an exodus of pilots to rivals.

Ryanair faced down a wave of anger before Christmas by saying it would, for the first time in its history, recognise unions.

While that climbdown averted the prospect of strikes during the crucial festive season, the airline has only struck a recognition deal with a union representing British-based flyers since then.

Mr O’Leary has admitted strikes are likely over Easter as a result of continuing issues, though the EERC has dismissed that as “alarmist” and continued to offer mediation services.

In the letter, seen by the Reuters news agency, the EERC noted that pilots were facing increased requests to work on their days off.

It said: “By our assessment, it looks like further cancellations are inevitable due to the continuing resignations of pilots.”

The airline suffered a PR disaster last autumn when it decided to withdraw 20,000 flights affecting 700,000 customers across its winter season, blaming a pilot rota blunder.

Ryanair responded on Monday: “The EERC, and their letters, have no legal standing or validity.

“Ryanair pilots continue to accept pay increases of 20% (so far accepted by over 80% of Ryanair pilots) which shows that Ryanair pilots do not pay any attention to this ‘so called’ EERC either.”