Veteran Ryanair pilot dismissed for ‘gross misconduct’

After 26 years with the company, pilot Captain John Goss has been dismissed by Ryanair after criticising the airline on a Channel 4 Dispatches programme which carried out an investigation into safety at the airline.

Ryanair said it was dismissing Mr Goss, who was due to retire in October, for ‘gross misconduct’. The survey featured in Dispatches was organised by an interim council of the Ryanair Pilots Group, which includes KLM, Aer Lingus, Southwest and Air France pilots and it asserted that of 1,000 Ryanair pilots, 94% wanted regulators to conduct an inquiry into the impact of employment practices on safety.

The Irish Airline Authority has denied all the allegations in the documentary and the authority says that Ryanair has always complied with safety requirements.

A spokesman for Ryanair is reported as saying the company had been ‘independently confirmed’ as one of the safest airlines in Europe, adding, ‘We will not allow a Ryanair employee to defame our safety on national television just three weeks after he confirmed in writing to Ryanair that he had no concerns with safety,’

A number of pilots contributed to the Channel 4 programme, although Captain Goss was the only one actually identified. And therefore, presumably, the only one dismissed. It is alleged that Ryanair promised to legally protect the pilots who took part in the Dispatches programme if those pilots revealed their identities.

Captain Goss has reportedly been no stranger to controversy, recently have received a warning from Ryanair after he gave a newspaper interview about safety issues, and in 2005 he was involved in a High Court case against Ryanair after it tried to bring disciplinary proceedings against him.

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