IMAGINE the scene. You take your seat on the plane and the pilot welcomes you on board.
“Today I will be flying this aircraft alone. Should I pass out or have a heart attack, don’t worry – the computer will fly the plane until one of the cabin crew realises what has happened, takes over and lands the aircraft. Have a nice flight.”
This is the future of flying, according to Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary. “Really, you only need one pilot.
“Let’s take out the second pilot. Let the bloody computer fly it,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Mr O’Leary’s comments however, were met with outrage from pilot, Patrick Smith, who labelled it “beyond preposterous”.
“Even in routine operations, it’s important to have a second person there,” he said.
Mr O’Leary also said he has a dream that one day all passengers will fly for free on Ryanair and that all of the airline’s income will come from ancillary revenue, such as baggage fees, in-flight sales and commissions on travel insurance, hotels, and car rentals sold online.
“If you don’t approach air travel with a radical point of view, then you get in the same bloody mindset as all the other morons in this industry: This is the way it has always been, and this is the way it has to be.
“So nothing changes.”
He also said after taking a look at the drawings for vertical seating he decided they won’t save enough room. Instead he wants to replace the last 10 rows with a standing cabin, complete with handrails.
The increased capacity, he said, would lower fares by up to 25%.
“In no plane ever operated by Ryanair will it be all standing. You will always have the choice of paying for a seat,” he said.
Mr O’Leary also proclaimed what Ryanair has done is expose the myth that air travel was some kind of a uniquely sexual experience.
“It’s not. It’s just a commoditised way of getting from A to B.”
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