Ryanair takes nine High Court cases over online comments
People identified as posting online on airline’s safety record are being prosecuted through Irish courts
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary, with Ryanair chief pilot captain Ray Conway, as he leaves Belfast High Court today. The airline has settled a legal action over an article which claimed some of pilots had raised concerns that a fuel policy may have put passengers at risk. Photograph: PA
People identified through Ryanair’s campaign against internet postings that question its attitude towards safety are being prosecuted through the Irish courts irrespective of where they are living.
The Dublin-based airline has initiated nine cases to date against people who have made postings on the PPRuNe.org website, which is used by people in the airline industry to discuss matters of professional interest.
Three cases have been settled with, according to a source with knowledge of the issue, apologies being published on PPRuNe.org and contributions being made to charity. A further six cases are still pending in the High Court in Dublin.
Meanwhile the airline is continuing to take legal cases in different jurisdictions, and engage consultants in the US, to identify people who have made anonymous postings which the airline believes unfairly questions its attitude towards safety.
Cses will be initiated in Dublin against these people once their identities have been established. The cases are being prosecuted in Dublin because Ireland is Ryanair’s “centre of interest”.
A court in South Africa was told by Ryanair earlier this week that it had no objection to honest, objective and legitimate comment, but would seek the removal of unlawful and wrong statements and seek a public apology.
Ryanair also intends to sue Channel 4 through the courts in Dublin for libel following a documentary that concerned the airline’s attitude towards safety.
Safety has been, and will always be, the absolute priority for Ryanair, as demonstrated by our 29 year industry leading record, and by the Irish Aviation Authority’s recent confirmation that Ryanair’s safety “is on a par with the safest airlines in Europe”, their airline’s chief pilot, Captain Ray Conway, said today.