O’Leary ‘shocked’ by pi­lots’ email

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS NEWS -

Ryanair chief ex­ec­u­tive Michael O’Leary told a High Court jury he was “sur­prised and shocked” by an email is­sued in 2013 by a pi­lots’ group.

The air­line claims the email falsely and ma­li­ciously stated the com­pany had mis­led in­vestors.

Mr O’Leary said the email is­sued by the Ryanair Pi­lots Group (RPG), which he de­scribed as “a group of non-Ryanair pi­lots”, had been an at­tempt to cre­ate di­vi­sion be­tween man­age­ment and its pi­lots.

He de­nied the Ryanair em­ployee com­mit­tee struc­ture, which ne­go­ti­ates pay and con­di­tions at dif­fer­ent air­ports around Europe, was not rep­re­sen­ta­tive in 2013 of the air­lines pi­lots be­cause it did not in­clude the ma­jor­ity who were not di­rectly em­ployed.

Defama­tion ac­tion

Con­tract em­ploy­ees had no right to vote for rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the Ryanair com­mit­tee struc­ture, the court heard. Mr O’Leary was giv­ing ev­i­dence on the third day of Ryanair’s defama­tion ac­tion against RPG founders Evert Van Zwol, John Goss and Ted Mur­phy, over their email of Septem­ber 12th 2013, to 2,289 pi­lots.

The email was headed “Pi­lot Up­date: what the mar­kets are say­ing about Ryanair” and stated the air­line gave pos­i­tive in­di­ca­tions to in­vestors the pre­vi­ous June which en­cour­aged a share price in­crease fol­lowed up by a sell-off of shares by air­line man­age­ment.

The de­fen­dants deny defama­tion.The case con­tin­ues.

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