Sunday 22 July 2018

Ryanair pilot airs grievance in letter to O'Leary

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary. Photo: Frank McGrath
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary. Photo: Frank McGrath
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A Ryanair pilot has challenged the airline's chief executive Michael O'Leary amid intensifying demands from crew for sweeping changes to their employment conditions.

Captain Imelda Comer, from Swinford, Co Mayo, told Mr O'Leary in a letter to the airline boss that Ryanair's management has "not listened to the pilots' voice so far".

"Repeating the mistakes of the past will not help anyone to move beyond or resolve these difficulties to find future solutions," she insisted.

Ms Comer, who has served as a pilot with Ryanair for a decade and revealed she is soon to leave the airline, also told Mr O'Leary that she was speaking on behalf of the newly-formed European Employee Representative Committee (EERC), whose members include Ryanair pilots from across Europe.

Ryanair has typically operated a model of interacting and negotiating with pilots at its individual bases, rather than collectively.

The EERC was founded in the wake of Ryanair's recent flights fiasco in an effort to force the carrier to deal with a collective pilot group that would negotiate on behalf of the majority of pilots.

"Your insistence on only negotiating with pilots, and only dealing with individual bases, is clearly not in the interests of pilots," Ms Comer alleged in her letter to Mr O'Leary.

"Your continued insistence on both approaches moves everyone further away from a sustainable solution," she warned.

"It may deliver you a short-term fix in a handful of bases, but it will not resolve the deep-seated issues that have been imposed on pilots over the last 10 years, and have cumulatively given rise to our most recent difficulties."

Ms Comer declined to comment further when contacted by the Irish Independent.

In a statement, Ryanair claimed the letter from Ms Comer was "entirely disingenuous", and signed by a "contractor pilot" who is leaving the carrier at the end of October.

Irish Independent

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