Head of communications Stephen McNamara seized on a story this weekend that suggested Ryanair had forced its pilots to fly with low fuel levels.
The newspaper cited an internal memo and comments on a pilots’ internet forum.
But Ryanair vigorously rebuffed the allegations in a press release via Dublin-based PR firm Murray Consultants. ‘The claims from anonymous pilots on unofficial Bebo-style internet chat rooms should be met with the contempt they deserve,’ fumed McNamara.
Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary is no shrinking violet in PR terms. However, observers said it was unusual for the airline to be on the defensive.
A Ryanair source said the airline had to defend itself vigorously against any suggestion it was putting the safety of passengers and crew at risk.