Ryanair, the Ireland-based budget airline known for extreme cost-cutting, stands accused of cutting corners on something else: safety measures.
That's if the Ryanair Pilot Group, a group of anonymous pilots seeking to unionize, are to be believed. According to a survey of more than 1,000 captains and first officers working for the airline, 94 percent would like to see a formal inquiry into the impact of Ryanair's policies and how they impact safety.
The survey further determined 89 percent of the employees believed Ryanair lacked an open and transparent safety culture, and more than 65 percent would not be comfortable flagging problems via the company's internal system, Reuters reports.
RPG's interim council chairman, Evert van Zwol, told Financial Times the group had a "strong suspicion" Ryanair's policies were negatively affecting safety, though they have no proof this is actually the case, thus justifying a regulatory inquiry.
Ryanair has since labeled the allegations made by RPG "false and defamatory," noting the airline's "outstanding 29 year safety record." The company further retorts that RPG is no more than "a PR front for the European Cockpit Association which is the club of pilots unions of Ryanair’s EU airline competitors."
An extensive set of documents published on the airline's website Monday include one from the Irish Aviation Authority, dated September 2012, which states Ryanair has safety standards "on a par with" other European airlines.