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Ryanair secrets?

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Ryanair secrets?

Old 13th Aug 2013, 17:13
  #61 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2013
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The amount of extra fuel taken by the 3 FR crews who ended up diverting from MAD to VLC last year is just ridiculous.
I do not know of anyone, except an ex Ryanair guy, who has already been fired from my company, partly due to his dangerous " fuel policy" ideas, who would take less than 1000 kg.
Standard I would take 500 kg. more because it is MAD, plus 1000kg. Extra due to the WX forcast, knowing very well that a PROB40 in reality means, expect TS. Even if I would take 2000 kg. more, Nobody would ask questions why, because in my company, Safety and Airmanship comes first. ALWAYS. And yes, we make a profit as our beancounters are not imbeciles who realise that a diversion is always more expensive than a landing at destination and that extra fuel is in effect NOT creating a much lower profit margin, but a much higher safety margin.
If you know that you will not have the fuel to stay up and wait in line for your turn, and realise that a lot of aircraft are diverting from the busiest field to a couple of single runway secondary ones in Spain, which Captains would wait until nearing min. Diversion fuel to get going Come On! That actually was the main reason for all the fuss in reality. The crews late decision to divert, not taking into account delays at the diversion field.

Don't tell me these FR crews are not brainwashed to limit their fuel uplift.They ARE. Fuel leagues, phone calls, threats by management...all safety issues and absolutely inappropriate for any professional airline.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 17:20
  #62 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 179
From the IAA's own website:-

Ryanair fuel policy fully complies with EASA European Regulations and is regularly reviewed by the IAA. EU regulations require that an aircraft has sufficient fuel:

to fly to its destination plus a 5% contingency plus;
complete an approach and go around at the destination airport plus;
to divert to the nominated alternative airport;
to hold at the alternative airport for 30 minutes;
to make an approach and landing at the alternative airport;
to have 30 minutes fuel remaining on landing.
Er, are we sure about this?! Hold for 30mins after a diversion and still land with final reserve??

Something doesn't quite add up here!

Last edited by Aldente; 13th Aug 2013 at 17:38.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 17:22
  #63 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
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Fuel Emergency declaration

If I see I am down to 30 minutes or less planned landing fuel, I am declaring an emergency to ATC. My own choice? No - my company's operating manual gives that direction. But I will and have declared a "minimum fuel" situation to ATC prior to that, at around 45 minutes fuel remaining - perhaps that is an FAA only procedure.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 17:28
  #64 (permalink)  
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I think it detracts from the legitimate case Ryanair crew may have regarding their conditions of employment to try to leverage the point by questioning safety.

The rules and regs are clear, if someone has been fired for taking extra fuel I would be interested to see those facts, otherwise it's for the PIC to decide and also right for him to offer an explanation to his employer as to why he feels it necessary to deviate from the planned fuel, ie Wx or expected delays, or long taxi or whatever it might be that made the PIC feel it necessary to take more fuel.

Everyone knows Ryanair's business model when they join and yet they complain when they have to abide by it....vote with your feet because I struggle to believe Ryanair breaks any rules, it's just too much of a gamble for them to do so, however, I don't dispute they probably operate with zero fat over and above the rules and if that makes one nervous, then lobby to change the rules, but don't claim they are unsafe.

This case to me is like the "aggressive tax avoidance", don't blame companies for doing what is economically advantageous for them within the law, if you don't like what they do, change the laws.

Last edited by south coast; 13th Aug 2013 at 20:54.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 18:17
  #65 (permalink)  
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BBC news...... "Ryanair has instructed its lawyers to issue legal proceedings against Channel 4 Dispatches, for defamation"

Would hate to the tea lady in the board room today. MOL would have gone ape.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 18:25
  #66 (permalink)  
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I haven't seen the program, and after reading all this I doubt it is worth it. It does sound a repeat of the Dutch program banging the same drum and flogging the same dead horse. RYR survived that one, sued, complained and this sounds like a second event. Is this the case? If RPG have a genuine grievance about something I doubt this is the correct topic to use to win your battle.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 18:32
  #67 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Posts: 255
I have never and will never fly Ryanair. I know a few people who either used to work, currently work for FR or were involved in various operations around FR (not being more specific for anonymity) and this has been going on since pretty much day 1. Fuel 'emergencies' whether to cut the line or genuine are pretty normal for them and there is a lot of employee intimidation.

ETA: Don't know if that ^^^^ counts as being against any rules, apologies if it is.

Last edited by LadyL2013; 13th Aug 2013 at 18:57.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 18:38
  #68 (permalink)  
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Where did the Maydays come from if they were not at final reserve??

You don't give a mayday when you are AT final reserve, you give the mayday when you expect to be at final reserve at the final approach fix. If ATC says "hold for 15 minutes" and that will make you go below final reserve, you would be at liberty to declare a mayday. Now you could just say: "15 minutes will put us below fuel minima, can we have greater priority?" But with ATC having fifteen aircraft all on diversion and all low on fuel, the only real way to sort them out is by someone declaring an emergency.

The real problem here, that Ryanair refuses to acknowledge, is that if everyone had a minimum fuel policy, when there were thunderstorms at the destination, Valencia could have been faced with 15 fuel maydays all at once. What then, eh?


I said that 'encouragement' not to use Prune is not that unusual, some employers put it in the contract. Don't like it, don't sign.
I've left a job due to safety concerns, it's easy - you put in your notice and walk.
There are not 2,000 jobs out there. You might be lucky, you might not - are you going to risk your mortgage and house? Do you really want to take your family to China? Will the wife stay with you, if you do go there?

I think your advice is a bit glib.


Well nothing fresh there and nothing to convince me not to fly with them.
Most of those expressing their views obviously have an axe to grind.
Spot the Ryanair manager (first posting). Come on, matey, tell us your name and position.

Kick the tyres:

What the programme didnt address is why any competent Captain didnt look at the TAF and with their local knowledge of MAD, put on a chunk of fuel to cover the very event that was forecasted.
Do they feel so pressured that they cant put on 20 mins EXTRA holding for such a murky forecast?
Err, you have answered your own question. What do you think the whole C4 program was all about?

And again the point has to be highlighted, that if all the diversions were abiding by Ryanair principles, then Valencia would have had 15 maydays all at once.

Last edited by silverstrata; 13th Aug 2013 at 21:24.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 18:58
  #69 (permalink)  
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For those who missed the documentary, it can be seen on replay here:
Dispatches - 4oD - Channel 4

And, quite predictably, Ryanair has issued legal proceeding against Channel 4:
BBC News - Ryanair to sue Channel 4 over fuel allegations

Personally, I don't think Ryan will get anywhere, especially since some 98% of the 1,000 pilots who responded to the questionnaire said they had no confidence in the safety reporting system at the airline. I think any judge in his/her right mind will say that highlighting this and the many other points is: "in the public interest". But the blue and yellow leprechaun does not appear to care - I think his attitude is that any advertising, no matter how dire it is, is good advertising.

In addition, he will be attempting to frighten the other pilots into submission with this legal action. You can bet that his first application to the courts will be for the names of the pilots involved in the documentary, so that he can frighten/dismiss them. This, unfortunately, is how he runs this airline. It was much the same in a similar Low Standards (Low Cost) airline, where management declared some years ago that they liked dismissing a pilot a month, as kept the others on their toes. But it is not a way to run a safety culture, in an industry that desperately needs a safety culture.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 19:54
  #70 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: UK
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You are the first person on this entire thread to get to the point. I wish people would stop wittering on about P2F, Ts and Cs and who has an axe to grind with RYR. The crux of the matter here is the safety culture at the company.
I agree with the various posts that point out that the documentary missed the point/was 'thin'/focused on the wrong incident.
I wish they had made more of the points regarding why on earth a company would want to publish league tables on fuel uplift and why pilots feel unable to admit to making mistakes. We are after all, human.

It is an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 19:59
  #71 (permalink)  
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My understanding is that a Mayday call is made when you have a fixed amount of fuel remaining as defined in the Company operating manual e.g. 2000kg's.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 20:12
  #72 (permalink)  
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I watched it, and MOL's attitude made me think of Juan Trippe, whose "assertive" management made Pan Am grow very big, very fast. During Pan Am's boom times a lot of people built up grudges and dislike of them.

When things declined and then when Lockerbie occurred they were unable to get help.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 20:44
  #73 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
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It's twenty or more years since that British Airways published a league table of fuel uplifts, almost identical to Ryanair's ( albeit you didn't have to explain your reasons). Occasionally Flight Management did write to ask for explanations, but "In my judgement, as Commander responsible for the safe conduct of the aircraft, the fuel I uplifted was operationally nescessary" usually ended that conversation.
I think the CAA got involved informally and the league tables were abandoned... different times !
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 20:52
  #74 (permalink)  
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The real problem here, that Ryanair refuses to acknowledge, is that if everyone rad a minimum fuel policy, when there were thunderstorms at the destination, Valencia could have been faced with 15 fuel maydays all at once. What then, eh?
This is the crux of the matter. Ryanair were/are gambling on the maturity and sense of other airlines, who have to charge for that maturity and sense. This is unfair practice, even in purely commercial terms.

Would hate to the tea lady in the board room today. MOL would have gone ape
I can't imagine MOL would entertain such a profligate luxury as a tea lady. It will be strictly Bring Your Own Teabag. And hot water. And cup. And fold-up seat. Breathing will be metered and at your own discretion.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 20:53
  #75 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Just spotted this comment on thejournal.ie

But the 1000 pilots who say it dangerous today will still show up for work tomorrow, knowingly taking unprofessional risks.
Because a good chunk of them cant afford to get fired. There is many 19,20 and 21 years old working for FR who secured their parents house against a 100k+ training loan all so they could become pilots and have a Facebook album full of cockpit pictures entitled “My Office”
Management in FR and other airlines should hang their heads in shame at this situation, but so should the pilots accepting the terms.
Spot on IMO
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 21:20
  #76 (permalink)  
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My understanding is that a Mayday call is made when you have a fixed amount of fuel remaining as defined in the Company operating manual e.g. 2000kg's.
No, no and no again. I hope you are not a flier.

Firstly, the minimum fuel amount depends on your weight, which can make a large difference.

Secondly, the regulations state you must be at the final approach fix (FAF) with this minimum fuel. So you have to calculate (guess) you much fuel you are going to use between now and the FAF. So yes, you give the emergency call before you get to minimum fuel.

Actually, if I was at 1,600 kg, and the aircraft minima was 1,200 kg, but I knew it would take 600 kg holding before getting to the FAF, I would personally give a PAN rather than a mayday - and advise ATC that I only have 10 mins holding remaining, rather than the 20 mins they were expecting. That might help ATC in making you number 2 or 3, rather than immediately making you number 1.

More information is better, in this case. A simple Mayday does not confer your exact predicament to ATC, and may put you in front of someone who actually has less fuel than you do (but was not expecting to be shoved backwards in the queue).

Ryanair pilots please note, I have done this myself on three occasions - calculated precisely the exact fuel to the FAF (which was just enough) and thus not declared an emergency, and landed with the required 150 kg below final fuel (burn from FAF to landing). However, if someone had barged in front of me with a Mayday call, who had more fuel than I had, I would not have been impressed.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 21:32
  #77 (permalink)  
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Total farce of a programme rehashing events from the past that have been gone through here and other forums ad nauseum.

I got nothing out of it that I didn't know already....I wouldn't blame Ryanair coming out guns blazing believing there are other agendas pushing this agenda .
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 21:35
  #78 (permalink)  
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From flightglobal.com:

Recently a London judge, ruling in favour of a Ryanair pilot against Brookfield over employment issues, observed that the employment contract was “bizarre”. It is. The reason for it, according to O’Leary, is that under this model the pilots cannot form a bargaining unit. There has to be a better way. - See more at: In the crewroom at Ryanair | Learmount
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 21:40
  #79 (permalink)  

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There are many things I dislike about Ryanair and the way it is managed but viewing the programme with an open mind it struck me as very weak attempt to 'prove' that Ryanair has a serious safety culture issue. Anonymous survey, anonymous (understandable) pilots appearing but actually very little of real substance.

I am not surprised Mr. O'Leary is suing and I would suggest he stands a good chance of winning.
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Old 13th Aug 2013, 21:41
  #80 (permalink)  
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The issue here appears relatively simple. The culture within the airline in question, appears to be harsh. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has flown them. They treat their paying passengers like a low commodity, why should the staff be treated any differently?

The documentary was thin, but the crux, regardless of the periphery 'noise', was the culture.

What I fail to fathom, and have always failed to fathom, is why? MOL has built a very successful business, has won hands down in the LOCO stakes, is very obviously an astute business person, so why the almost disdainful way the customers are treated, and perceived, and we now know, allegedly, the staff?

Can the whole team not just be a bit 'nicer', slacken up a bit, and continue on their success.

It beats me..
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