HE’S renowned for his eccentric cost-cutting proposals and for squeezing every last bead of sweat out of his employees.
But Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has been given a taste of his own medicine after one of his pilots suggested dumping the millionaire boss for a cheaper replacement.
Only last week, Mr O’Leary caused outrage after suggesting that the number of pilots on short-haul flights should be cut to one to save money.
And yesterday Captain Morgan Fischer, 41, who trains pilots at Ryanair’s base in Marseilles, delivered a stinging rebuke to his boss after suggestions that cabin crew could fill in for co-pilots in an emergency.
Although Ryanair staff have complained in the past about the company’s drive to cut costs, it is believed this is the first time an employee has put their name to their concerns.
Mr Fischer, who has been based in Marseilles for the past five years and has 20 years’ flying experience, mostly with TWA and American Airlines, wrote in the Financial Times: ‘I would propose that Ryanair replace the chief executive with a probationary cabin crew member, currently earning about €13,200 net per annum.
‘Ryanair would benefit by saving millions of euro in salary, benefits and stock options.’
Stephen McNamara, the airline’s spokesman, said it would consider Mr Fischer’s proposal.
‘Michael thinks that cabin crew would make a far more attractive CEO than him – this obviously isn’t a very high bar.
‘So we are going to seriously look at the suggestion.
‘After all, if we can train cabin crew to land the plane, it should be no problem training them to do Michael’s job as well.’
Mr O’Leary is renowned for attempting to get extra publicity for his firm by announcing a series of outrageous plans to cut costs.
Recent ideas include charging customers €1 to use aircraft toilets, introducing standing seats and imposing ‘fat taxes’ on larger customers.
He was criticised three years ago after describing rival pilots at Aer Lingus, who were threatening to go on strike, as ‘overpaid, underworked peacocks’.
Evan Cullen, president of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association, said Mr Fischer’s remarks were ‘unique’.
‘It would be contrary to the corporate culture of Ryanair,’ he added. ‘An awful lot of pilots have told me that they are in fear of speaking.’