Now Ryanair wants its planes to fly with only one pilot
For a writer of a blog dedicated to money and consumer issues, Michael O’Leary is a godsend.
Because, frankly, the Ryanair CEO is a geyser of juicy headlines – a master of PR who gets his kicks provoking the air traveler one outrageous suggestion at a time.
Maybe passengers should have to pay to use airline toilets, O’Leary pontificated in February of 2009. Or perhaps Ryanair should try out standing-room seating, with rollercoaster style butt supports in a bid to conserve cabin space, he announced last July. Or maybe, just maybe, travelers should be bringing their own bags right to the tarmac, as O’Leary has long been fond of saying.
But don’t think for one second that the boss of Ryanair, Dublin’s budget airline, is done there. His mind is always racing, always thinking. He’s always going to say what other airline men will not.
Like, say, his latest throwaway proposal, mentioned in passing to a Bloomberg writer earlier this month.
“Why does every plane have two pilots?” O’Leary asked himself, as quoted in a feature on Bloomberg.com. “Really, you only need one pilot. Let’s take out the second pilot. Let the bloody computer fly it.”
If O’Leary sounds somewhat mad for thinking planes can get away with just one pilot – a crew member on all Ryanair flights would be trained how to land an aircraft, he says, in case of an emergency to the remaining pilot under this proposal – that’s because he is. Admittedly. He is like Sir Richard Branson after a case of Pixy Stix, self-advertised as the most flamboyant and outspoken man in the airline industry.
Yet read further into O’Leary in this Bloomberg feature and you’ll realize maybe for all his harping about drastic cuts to make airline travel cheaper, the CEO isn’t really all about fighting for the wallets of consumers like you or I.
At the heart of every Ryanair PR stunt, the standing room seating, the pay toilets, is cheaper fares for consumers, and it’s beginning to look – as Ryanair continues to turn profits in an industry that’s lost almost $50 billion over the past decade – more and more that O’Leary might be the only one with this whole business figured.
Still, the Bloomberg feature on Ryanair is a good read (my favourite passage: “These days, any commercial flight may leave you with the impression that airlines consider you cattle. Only O’Leary will call you a cow, lick his chops, and explain how he plans to carve you up for dinner. His 17 years at the helm of Ryanair have been one long feast.”) but let’s focus on O’Leary’s latest suggestion.
Travelers out there: would you ever feel comfortable flying on a plane with just one pilot, and if not, would the promise of a cheaper fare make you more inclined to do so?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: Steve | Sep 9, 2021 12:36:57 AM
We should have this O’Leary fellow calculating our politicians pay, pensions and benefits!
Anyone second the motion?
Posted by: don | Sep 10, 2021 12:47:47 PM
i fly to and in europe. i would never fly ryanair if they gave free flights. this guy is an idiot
Posted by: Mark | Sep 10, 2021 7:04:59 PM
I have sworn NEVER to fly Ryanair based on what I have read and the documentary I have watched on Ryanair, but my friends just care about the price, maybe this will throw them off that wagon, something's wrong w/ O'Leary
Posted by: Joe | Sep 12, 2021 5:41:08 PM
To all air travelllers:
We should all boycott Ryanair just to prove a point that we consumers control him not him us. If we don't fly Ryanair even for a day, let's see how vocal he is about making those stupid proposals to make more money for the company at the travellers' expense and safety.
O'Leary is an idiot. He gives the Iish frugality a bad name. I will never fly Ryanair because I worry about its maintenance standards.
Posted by: Mike | Sep 12, 2021 6:53:39 PM
"a crew member on all Ryanair flights would be trained how to land an aircraft" - in other words he wants to get rid of the co-pilot and instead turn all crew members into pilots? The guy is a certified idiot.
Posted by: Andrew | Sep 12, 2021 8:32:33 PM
I once took Ryan Air from Birmingham to Dublin and return, I believe the fare was 50 pounds sterling. The return flight was with very turbulent gale force winds, the approach in Birmingham was the most terrifying arrival I have ever encountered, I am surprised the "old" 737 survived the the carrier deck landing.......and that was with two pilots.....One pilot, no way I would risk my life.
Next time I took Aer Lingus and was offered two scotches before take off, followed by champagne and smoke salmon in flight.....which was less than one hour. Service and safety for a little more money.
Posted by: Neil Bernier | Jan 21, 2022 6:59:42 PM
While on vacation in varedaro cuba on Jan5 was approached at poolside by immigration and a hotel security guard , told to bring our passports and be in the hotel lobby in 5 mins.My nephew who is a minor and myself were put in 2 different rooms. They came to me first and said that on Dec29 they have evidence that i left the hotel with an employee and went to Cardinal City to a tattoo house to smoke contraban(pot). I had to ask through an interepeter whats Cardinal City. I told them that on Dec29 i never even left the resort. They then said that if i diddnt confess they could put me in jail for 30yrs.This went on for 20 mins.When i would not cofess to something i never did he finally backed off.They then went to my nephew , would not let me be there , and tried to get him to admit to me being in Cardinal City that day.They then let us go and finish our vacation. Real nice hospitality. Then at the airport had 25 pesos in each passport when i gave them to the ticket agent to check in she gave them back with our boarding passes, when i went to pay the airport tax my 25 pesos was gone. When to the sunwing agent told him of this he said thats not possible , since i had no more cdn money to get 25 pesos i ask him if he could help me out. He told me to go borrow some money from someone on the flight back home.AND again what hospitality.The good part is that a couple gave me 40 cdn and i went the very next day and repayed them plus a little gift