Capt O'Leary flies yet another fanciful kite
Published 04/09/2010 | 05:00
RYANAIR chief executive Michael O'Leary has been expounding his latest ideas in an international business magazine, suggesting that one pilot rather than two would suffice on the airline's aircraft and that one member of cabin crew on each flight should be trained to land an aircraft in the event the pilot has a heart attack or is otherwise incapacitated.
"If the pilot has an emergency, he rings the bell, he calls her in," Mr O'Leary said. "She could take over."
The fanciful ideas are the latest in a string of proposed cost-saving and revenue-raising plans that have included charging passengers for using the toilet and creating a standing-room-only area on board aircraft where passengers could fly for fares discounted by 25pc if they opt not to sit down.
Mr O'Leary was interviewed in the latest edition of 'BusinessWeek' magazine.
He conceded that standing passengers were liable to be injured by turbulence.
"Yes, somebody could get injured," said Mr O'Leary. "I don't say that lightly. But we'd do exactly what we do in every other case: 'Ladies and gentlemen -- bing bong! -- we're going to have some slight turbulence. Hold on to the rail tightly.'"
Unless current aviation rules were changed, Mr O'Leary would not be permitted to have areas where passengers could opt to stand for the duration of a flight. Those rules are unlikely to be changed.
"He insults the dignity of the flying public every time he opens his mouth," Kate Hanni, the founder of FlyersRights.org, a non-profit passenger advocacy group, told 'BusinessWeek'.