Posts Tagged ‘RyanAir’

Now even birds are going on strike…

November 21, 2008



Bird Strike!

Bird Strike!

Apparently, the aviation industry’s troubles are continuing and now even nature has turned against them…

“Multiple bird strikes” forced Ryanair flight FR4102 from the sky and into an emergency landing last week.  Ryanair immediately released pictures of the blood splattered plane – presumably believing this to be some kind of PR coup.

Interestingly, lessons seem to have been leant from Ryanair’s handling of previous crises and they apologised profusely for the disruption. Near-misses like these are always a PR challenge for companies, but full disclosure is a good policy. They also correctly mentioned the efforts of the crew to keep the passengers safe.

An airline cannot really be blamed when a flock of birds decides to commit mass-suicide-by-aircraft-engine, but any negative PR is something to be avoided in the current climate for the aviation industry. Whilst most people may choose not to fly because of the credit crunch, there must be some who just don’t like the idea that their multi-million dollar passenger jet can be brought down by a depressed seagull…

A bad month for air travel

August 29, 2008

Is it just me, or has this month been a terrible one for the aviation industry?

First off, BAA was forced to sell Gatwick and Stansted thanks to the competition commission (possibly not such a bad thing for passengers and airlines).

Transatlantic budget carrier Zoom Airlines was also forced to suspend all flights and go into administration. Thousands of passengers due to fly with Zoom have been told to rebook with other carriers and to contact credit or debit card issuers about refunds. The rising price of aviation fuel has been named as a major factor in the airline’s demise.

A series of other minor aviation incidents followed, including a plane catching fire on a runway, a Thomsonfly plane having to turn back after a fire broke out in an on-board oven and an Air France 747 skidding off the runway after landing at Montreal.

All of these events were overshadowed when a SpanAir passenger jet tragically crashed at Madrid’s Barajas airport. Just four days later, an Itek Air Boeing 737 -bound for Iran, crashed – killing two thirds of the passengers and crew.

Given this atmosphere, one might have expected Ryanair to handle their recent crisis differently. Flight FR9336 from Bristol to Barcelona Girona airport was forced to divert to Limoges, in central France after the cabin depressurised. In total, 16 passengers were taken to hospital with earache and were not allowed to fly again for at least 24 hours.

Stories quickly surfaced about the terrifying ordeal, the lack of communication from the flight crew and the suggestion that the plane’s oxygen masks were not functioning.

RyanAir CEO, Michael O’Leary, reacted unapologetically – saying that his airline had done nothing wrong and had followed all the correct procedures. But at the end of a bad month for air travel and immediately after a harrowing firsthand account of the RyanAir incident from a passenger this was a poorly judged public relations response.

O’Leary could easily have been less defensive and promised a complete overhaul of the flight safety procedures whilst still maintaining the key points that flight safety procedures were followed and that no one was seriously hurt.

All this wasn’t helped when a second RyanAir flight was forced to divert to another airport a day later. This time due to an allergic reaction in a passenger – caused by mushroom soup leaking onto him from an overhead compartment.

I suppose that makes them a laughing stock… souper….

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