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Ryanair Fly Into Trouble with Forced Lanzarote Landing

The Irish budget airline Ryanair has come in for more criticism from the Spanish aviation authority AENA as a result of requesting a priority landing at Lanzarote airport last week. 

The incident took place last Tuesday afternoon as the Ryanair flight FR2048 from Leeds Bradford was forced to abort a landing at Arrecife airport and request priority over two other planes in front of it in the queue as the aircraft was running low on fuel, according to an AENA spokesperson.  An accusation that has since been hotly denied by the airline, which is already under investigation for three other possible low fuel emergency landings in late July.


Forced Ryanair Landing on Lanzarote...


According to airline pilot forums Ryanair are pursuing a deliberate low fuel policy in order to reduce costs, with the airline’s pilots unable to take extra fuel on board without a valid explanation and accompanying evidence.  The airline also optimizes its flight plans, leaving little leeway for pilots in the event of a forced diversion or emergency.  Ryanair however has denied that any of these landings came about as the result of their planes being low on fuel.

Either way the Irish aviation authority, in co-operation with Spanish authorities has opened an investigation into the latest incident.

Ryanair are the largest carrier of passengers to the Canary Islands and currently account for some 45% of all volume, thanks to their creation of new bases and hubs in the Canaries last year.  The airline recently cut back some 21 flights to Lanzarote as a result of the withdrawal of flight subsidies, impacting routes to Holland, Germany and the Spanish mainland.  A move that some observers dismissed as deliberate sabre rattling in an attempt to force a U turn.

The airline is certainly no stranger to controversy and is quick to latch onto any PR opportunity.  Only last week for example the airline´s boss Michael O´Leary stirred up another hornet´s nest by branding a passenger who was charged €60 to print off her boarding pass an idiot for not doing this themselves, despite the fact that the passenger was staying in a rural villa in Spain with no internet access.

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