O’Leary ‘shocked’ by pilots’ email
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.
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.