The European Parliament will vote tomorrow (Tuesday 12th June 2018) on new rules to make the European Union Aviation Safety Agency collect data on the links between poor working conditions and safety.
Many pilots and a majority of first officers at Ryanair are not directly employed by the airline. Instead they sign contracts with agencies supplying pilot services exclusively to Ryanair. These “contractors” to all intents and purposes do the same job as employee pilots - but as they are not official employees they do not have access to sick pay.
Labour MEP Alex Mayer will say that Ryanair pilots based at Stansted have told her that they have gone into work “not feeling 100%” as otherwise they do not get paid.
She says: “I have yet to meet a passenger who wants their pilot to be feeling a bit under the weather. When you are hurtling through the air at 500 mph at 30,000 feet you want a pilot who’s on top of their game.”
“If successful in the vote, the inclusion of a link between poor working conditions and flight safety will be an important victory. Given the worrying spread of exploitative employment models in low-cost airlines, it is imperative to act and protect the pilots and crew who are more and more under pressure and the passengers who fly with them.”