Ryanair sues council that runs RPG

Five member-council expected to appear at press conference

Ryanair has launched proceedings in the High Court against the five-member interim council that runs the Ryanair Pilots Group, the organisation that is seeking to represent pilots working for the budget airline.

Papers were lodged in the High Court late last week and an order has been granted allowing for their service outside the jurisdiction. The move comes as the RPG has announced it is to hold its first ever press conference later this month.

The case is against pilots Evert Van Zwol, John Goss, Ted Murphy, Carl Kuwitzky and Samuel Giezendanner, some or all of whom are all expected to appear at the Brussels press conference on October 29th.

Capt Goss is a former Ryanair pilot who was fired after he appeared in a Channel 4 documentary about Ryanair. Both he and Channel 4 are now being sued by Ryanair. The nature of the complaint being made by Ryanair against the RPG interim council members is not known.

Capt Goss was the only member of the council who worked for Ryanair, something which Ryanair has used in its criticisms of the group. Asked to comment on the announcement of the press conference, a spokesman for Ryanair said: “We don’t comment on KLM or Aer Lingus pilots.”

Last month, Ryanair told a court in South Africa the steps it is taking to identify people who are making anonymous comments on the internet about its attitude to safety.

The court was told Ryanair had engaged a law firm in Los Angeles to file libel proceedings against a number of defendants in the Los Angeles Superior Court. It had also issued proceedings against Internet Brands in California, the registered owner of a website used by pilots, and issued subpoenas against Yahoo, Microsoft and Google in pursuit of information.

Earlier this year Ryanair got court orders in the Republic instructing Eircom and UPC to provide it with information concerning the identity of parties whom, the High Court was told, had made postings that falsely impugned Ryanair's safety record.

It has taken a number of cases in the High Court in Dublin against pilots it has identified and whom it alleges have made defamatory comments about the airline. In some instances cases have been settled on the basis of an apology and a five-figure donations to a charity, according to the airline.