Ryanair's Latest Crazy Idea: No More Co-Pilots

Instead, extra flight attendants!
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2010 1:44 PM CDT
Only one of these guys really needs to be here, theorizes the Ryanair CEO.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

(Newser) – Co-pilots? We don't need no stinking co-pilots. And it would certainly be cheaper to fly without them, so that's what Ryanair CEO (and infamous cost-cutter) Michael O'Leary intends to do—or at least try to do. O'Leary, whose company has already rolled out the genius ideas of charging passengers to pee and offering standing-room-only tickets, tells the Financial Times he's asking aviation authorities for permission to operate short flights with only one pilot aboard, and replace the second-in-command with ... flight attendants.

After all, "the computer does most of the flying now," he reasons. "In 25 years, we’ve had one pilot who suffered a heart attack in flight and he landed the plane." His plan "would save the entire industry a fortune." If he succeeds, O'Leary will place extra flight attendants on shorter flights to perform the co-pilot's job of making sure "the first fella doesn’t fall asleep and knock over one of the computer controls," he said.

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