independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Video: Airline landed with €450,000 bill for plane take-off weights

RYANAIR passengers hate paying for extra weight, but now the airline has been hit with an unexpected bill of its own – to the tune of nearly €500,000.

The agency in Germany responsible for the country's air traffic control, DFS, says the Irish airline has been misreporting the maximum take-off weight of some of its aircraft there.

In some instances in Germany, Ryanair has been reporting a maximum take-off weight of 67 tonnes for its Boeing 737 aircraft. However, the correct reportable weight is 75 tonnes. That meant the carrier has been paying less than it should have been in departure fees.

DFS has lumped Ryanair with a €450,000 bill to cover charges it says the Irish carrier should have paid between 2009 and November last year.

But at least Ryanair can take solace in the fact that DFS will probably not charge any extra handling fees.

Eurocontrol, the European organisation that is responsible for the safety of air navigation, has also been investigating Ryanair's reported aircraft weights on take-off.

"We became aware some time ago that there is an issue with the declarations of Ryanair and, for some months now, we have been attempting to address the issue with Ryanair, as well as reviewing the operation of the system more generally," it said.

"We should stress that this is purely a financial issue and that there are no safety implications," said Eurocontrol.

Troubled airline SAS has also complained that Ryanair misreports take-off weights.

Ryanair has insisted that its aircraft operate at different certified weights "in full compliance with Boeing's flex-weight programme, as certified and approved by the Irish Aviation Authority".

Boeing 737-800 aircraft registered in Ireland are subject to a maximum take-off weight of 75 tonnes.

Irish Independent

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