Ryanair 'to sue' C4 over Dispatches documentary

Ryanair: takes legal action against C4 Dispatches
Ryanair: takes legal action against C4 Dispatches

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said he plans to sue Channel 4 over the passenger safety allegations made in the Dispatches programme broadcast last night (12 August).

The documentary called Secrets from the Cockpit featured anonymous Ryanair pilots claiming that the airline’s fuel policies put passengers at risk.

It was alleged in the programme that pilots who burn the highest amount of fuel receive letters from Ryanair reprimanding them. Dispatches outlined three incidents in which Ryanair pilots had needed to call in May Day alerts due to low fuel on board.

Ryanair today (13 August)  issued a statement calling the claims "false and defamatory" that "wrongly impugn and smear Ryanair’s outstanding 29-year safety record based on nothing more than anonymous heresay claims".

The airline has instructed its lawyers to issue legal proceedings against Channel 4 for defamation, claiming that it fully complies with EU fuel policies, "including allowing all its pilots to take as much fuel as they wish to".

In addition to rubbishing the claims made in the documentary, Ryanair claims that Dispatches would not use an unedited interview or statement from Michael O’Leary in the programme, and it has published the letters between itself and Channel 4 on the website.

A Channel 4 spokesperson said: We stand by our journalism and will robustly defend proceedings if they are initiated. 

Ryanair recently made headlines by announcing it would ask pilots to slow down the flying of its planes in order to save fuel, which would add two minutes onto every journey.

In a recent interview with Marketing, O’Leary admitted that "short of committing murder, bad publicity sells more seats". 


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer