Ryanair CEO Calls For The Elimination of Co-Pilots To Save Money

We have followed the dubious work of Michael O’Leary, chief executive officer of Ryanair as he has struggled to make aircraft into human cattle cars and to charge from every possible convenience like use of a toilet. Demonstrating that he has even less regard for safety than he does comfort, O’Leary is calling for the elimination of co-pilots — suggesting that flight attendants could be trained to land planes where a pilot dies or becomes incapacitated.

O’Leary insisted “Really, you only need one pilot . . . Let’s take out the second pilot. Let the bloody computer fly it.” To assure those people willing to trust him with their lives, O’Leary that “[i]f the pilot has an emergency, he rings the bell, he calls her in. She could take over.”

There appear plenty of people who are willing to be treated like cattle or fly on a cut-rate airline where co-pilots are treated like luxuries. Ryanair now has 7,000 employees, flying 1,100 routes to 155 airports in 26 countries.

Source: Business Week

27 thoughts on “Ryanair CEO Calls For The Elimination of Co-Pilots To Save Money”

  1. Anyone who has a pilots license knows this is just a load of BS. There’s no way this could happen with the FAA rules as they are.

    Even when you finally become a pilot you still have to log hours to keep your license active, re-test every 2 years, & medical physicals…etc.

    And a pilots license is not just about flying, just as a car license isn’t JUST about driving.

  2. But then he would have to pay the flight attendants more for their higher skill, even though the need for the skill would approach zero.
    He would either have to pay or the attendants wouldn’t take the training.

    Who would pay for the initial training and certification, and who would pay for the maintenance for the training for people who, in reality never get any practice being a pilot?

  3. and to Tom, No offense if any all is forgiven….I can fire back just as quickly as I receive it…

  4. Proposition and Rule No 1, for Insurance Company’s. You pay the premium and we keep the money.

    Proposition and Rule No 2, for the Insured. You pay the Premium and they keep the money.

    Proposition and Rule No 3, for the Claims process. See Proposition and Rule No 1.

    The tip off should have been the statement about risk and claims. I wonder how many insurance company’s would have settled claims arising out of Katrina if a Federal Judge did not order them to pay or risk having all of there assets frozen.

    I wonder how many claims are still outstanding from September 11, 2001 in regards to the WTC? Just askin…..

  5. #
    Blind Faithiness 1, September 7, 2010 at 2:11 pm


    AY’s comments are meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek. Most folks get it. I guess you forgot to turn the “no humor/sarcasm” light off and return your funny bone to the upright position before decent in Turley blawg.


    This whole proposition by O’leary seems like something the “Yes Men” would propose just to see how many cold-blooded corporate shills would go along with it.

    Very surreal.
    14 Blind Faithiness 1, September 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Also, tom, when I think of AY’s comments, this thread or others, I have yet to think “misinformed” or “drivel”.

    Thats just me.


    Ooops. If there was a good way to post a “blushing, embarrassed smiley” here, I would.

    I did think that AY’s comment was out of character, but I’m sure that I (in addition to what I said above) make some out-of-character “mindless drivel” comments with some frequency.

    It’s just that these ideas about “autopilot” are so wide spread, I can certainly imagine many otherwise smart, well-informed people making theses sorts of comments. Sorry, AY.

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