Powered by Blogger.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ryanair terror of the window fixed with sticky tape that came loose in mid-air and forced crew to turn back

-Pilot forced to head back to Stansted 20 minutes in to 1,000-mile flight to Riga, Latvia
-Comes as company outlines ambitious plan to double number of passengers

By Andrew Levy

Running repairs: Airport staff work on the Boeing's cockpit using duck-tape

Passengers with Ryanair have long been accustomed to the airline cutting financial corners.

But when one party found ground crews applying sticky tape to a cockpit window, they feared the penny-pinching had gone too far.

Twenty minutes after take-off, the service from Stansted airport to Riga in Latvia was forced to turn back when the patch came loose and started making a ‘loud’ noise.

Ryanair has insisted safety was never at risk, but passengers said they were in fear of their lives.

Anthony Neal, 33, from Bromley, Kent, who was with a group of friends for his stag party, said: ‘They were taping up the front window as we were queueing to get on.
‘One guy was up a ladder and another was hanging out of a side window of the cockpit.

‘About 20 minutes into the flight the pilot came on the loudspeaker and said there was a problem with the windscreen – that it had been damaged on a previous flight and they’d have to turn back to Stansted. People were terrified.’

The Boeing 737-800 took off on the evening of September 29 with around 200 passengers. A replacement plane was found after two hours .

The Irish Aviation Authority has investigated the incident and said the tape was used to provide protection to sealant on a new window, adding: ‘At no time was passenger safety threatened.’

Before the 1,000-mile flight from Stansted, Essex, to Riga in Latvia ground crew had been called out to wrap the edge of the windscreen with the tape

The incident comes as the Micheal O'Leary, chief executive of the airline, today outlined ambitious expansion plans that would see it almost double the number of passengers and stretch its reach across Europe.

Mr O'Leary told the Financial Times that he wanted to increase passenger numbers to between 120million and 130million over the next decade - which would make Ryanair one of the biggest airlines in the world.

He said the airline is in talks with plane makers Boeing, Comac in China, and Russia's Irkut over the purchase of 200 to 300 new narrow-bodied aircraft.

Dublin-based Ryanair carried 72.1million passengers in 2010/11 but the plans could double the size of its fleet of about 270 aircraft.

Mr O'Leary added that Ryanair could increase its share of the European market as the tough economic environment boosts demand for low-cost travel.

The outspoken Irishman said the airline could deploy 50 new aircraft to serve Scandinavia and a further 100 to service the Baltic states, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

All of Ryanair's planes are manufactured by US manufacturer Boeing, and analysts said costs could increase if it bought aircraft from another maker.

Mr O'Leary is well-known for courting controversy with his cost-cutting suggestions, which have included charging to use the toilets on planes, removing a toilet, standing passenger space, and scrapping the role of the co-pilot.



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Top Web Hosting | manhattan lasik | websites for accountants