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Thursday 21 June 2018

Ryanair sacks long-serving pilot after Channel 4 documentary appearance

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

RYANAIR has sacked with immediate effect one of its longest serving pilots after his appearance in a Channel 4 documentary on Monday that questioned the airline’s safety and fuel policy.

The airline headed by Michael O’Leary has also instructed its lawyers to issue legal proceedings against John Goss, who has worked for Ryanair for about 26 years. He was due to retire in October.

Mr Goss was uncontactable last night but it’s understood he has engaged legal advice and is considering his legal position.

Mr Goss, a captain with the airline, is a member of the interim council of the Ryanair Pilot Group (RPG), which has been pressing the airline to engage with it over a number of issues, including safety.

But Ryanair has refused to engage with the RPG and insists that its own safety record is unblemished and that it adheres to all aviation safety protocols. The Irish Aviation Authority has backed the airline, saying it has no concerns regarding the carrier in relation to its safety or fuel use procedures.

Ryanair delivered documents to Mr Goss yesterday informing him of his dismissal.

A memo was also circulated yesterday to all Ryanair pilots by its director of flight and ground operations, David O’Brien.

“I write to advise you that Capt John Goss was today dismissed with immediate effect from Ryanair,” the memo said. It added that safety remains Ryanair’s “No 1 priority”.

The memo added that management wrote to Mr Goss three weeks ago. Ryanair said it was “shocked and astonished” that he then contributed to the Channel 4 documentary.

Ryanair is also to sue Channel 4 and Dispatches for defamation. Channel 4 has said it stands by its journalism and will “robustly defend proceedings if they are initiated”.

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