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article imageRyanair CEO wants to cut co-pilots

By Stephanie Medeiros     Sep 7, 2010 in Business
The CEO of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, is once again being quoted with a controversial idea on cutting corners in the airline business.
The philosophy behind O'Leary's newest idea is that airplanes are mostly flown by computers and there is no need for a co-pilot. Also passengers don't need help with their luggage when they are boarding the plane, but rather can take care of themselves.
Ryanair has been in the news several times in the past year. The Dublin, Ireland-based airline company once was under fire for the comment that passengers should pay to use the bathroom on the plane, on top of already ludicrous fees and payments customers have to pay--some of them including bringing an infant on a plane, luggage fees and online check-in.
In an article at CNN, O'Leary is quoted as saying "Let's take out the second pilot. Let the bloody computer fly it." Instead, the co-pilot would be replaced with a flight attendant, who could be trained to land during an emergency if needed. All the pilot would have to do is ring a bell to call for the attendant.
Unions of pilots are in a outrage about the comments made by the CEO, already mouthing off their resistance to the idea. Critics of the Ryanair CEO say that O'Leary is merely bluffing and trying to garner free advertising for his airline.
Jim McAuslan, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots Association had much to say about O'Leary's co-pilot cut, at one point saying: "His suggestion is unwise, unsafe and the public will be horrified."
Meanwhile, Ryanair stocks have been on a decline, losing 3.4% recently.
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