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Business

Ryanair fires pilot for TV interview on safety concerns

Ireland's Ryanair has sacked one of its senior pilots after he questioned the airline's safety standards in a television interview. The carrier maintained its safety record was on a par with European rivals.

Low-budget Ryanair announced Thursday it had dismissed veteran pilot John Goss for what it called "defamatory contributions" in a British Channel 4 documentary about the carrier's safety culture.

In that program, Goss said he'd received a critical letter for using too much back-up fuel. He also claimed many fellow pilots working for Ryanair did not have confidence in the safety reporting systems in place.

Ryanair rejected accusations from pilots that it encouraged crew to carry less back-up fuel and that disciplinary threats were used to keep employees from reporting safety issues.

Safety standards questioned

Management claimed it had two confidential safety reporting systems, which alongside other instruments, were on a par with the safest airlines in Europe.

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"We will not allow a Ryanair employee to defame our safety on national television just three weeks after he confirmed in writing that he had no concerns with safety," the company said in a statement, while it was preparing legal action against John Goss.

Goss himself said he would not make any public comment on his dismissal until he received further legal advice.

French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier said he would seek more information about Ryanair's treatment of its pilots. He added he was "determined to obtain the necessary clarifications on the veracity of the allegations that pilots were discouraged from reporting incidents."

hg/hc (Reuters, AFP)

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