Ryanair denies low fuel claims
Ryanair has denied that the use of fuel league tables led to three mayday calls by pilots on three separate flights on July 26th over dwindling fuel supply.
The Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) made the accusation today after Spain's aviation safety agency said it was investigating three emergency landings at Valencia airport.
IALPA president aptain Evan Cullen said there was an environment at the airline which was “making pilots uncomfortable about taking extra fuel when they feel they need to take extra fuel”.
However Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said pilots were not under pressure to take as little fuel as possible. The “real issue” was the “highly unusual situation of diversion”, he told RTÉ Radio today.
The company factored in an hour and a half of extra fuel for a journey. If pilots needed to take additional fuel “they need to let us know”, he said.
Fuel was expensive but the airline was “never going to put fuel before safety”, he said. Each plane still landed with the “minimum regulated 30 minutes of fuel”, he said.
The incident occurred on the same day last month when the planes were diverted from Madrid to Valencia by air traffic control due to severe thunderstorms.
The planes contacted air traffic control asking to land immediately when on hold at Valencia 50 to 70 minutes after their scheduled landing time in Madrid “as they reached their reserve fuel minimums”, the airline said in a statement.
The aircrafts landed with reserve fuels of at least 30 minutes or 300 miles in full compliance with European Safety Procedures, the statement added.
Spainish consumer association CEACCU earlier this week called for an investigation into the incident which is said was posed grave risk to passenger safety. It called for the airline’s licence to be suspended and to be fined €4.5 million
Mr McNamara said aviation was “the most highly regulated industry in Europe” and “every single European airline works within the parameters”