TV Documentary Suggests Pilots Overworked
Meanwhile, in the U.K., a documentary on Ryanair by Channel Four accuses the airline of requiring pilots to work excessive hours, even when they are fatigued. Ryanair has denied and disputed all of the filmmakers' allegations. The program, Dispatches, aired Monday night. Two undercover reporters posed as cabin crew and spent five months secretly filming Ryanair's training program and flights. The reporters claimed to reveal inadequate safety and security checks, dirty airplanes, exhausted cabin crew and pilots complaining about the number of hours they have to fly. Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said the allegations were unfounded. "Ryanair operates to the highest safety standards in Europe," O'Leary said. Aviation authorities in Europe are looking into the allegations. To counter the bad publicity, the airline on Tuesday released 3 million free tickets for travel before the end of May. Passengers pay only airport taxes and charges. Ryanair, based in Dublin, is Europe's largest no-frills airline, known for its cheap fares.