Differences of opinion on Ryanair

I refer to the article by Paul Mills (Business, Aug 15). He is not short of opinions. However in this case his opinions are based on a substantial number of errors of fact and appreciation.

He claims that there is no such thing as low pilot salaries, implying that no pilots ever earn less than bus drivers (he is wrong). He then moves on to refer to myself as president of Aer Lingus pilots union, adopting the factually incorrect language favoured by Ryanair (in fact IALPA has more Ryanair pilot members than Aer Lingus members).

He seems unaware that Aer Arran do not recognise IALPA.

There is nothing unofficial about the Ryanair Pilot Group (the word unofficial was dutifully taken from others). It is indeed a fact that Ryanair made complaints, subsequently over-ruled, about the RPG Twitter and Facebook account, referring to questionable credibility.

However there was nothing questionable about the content (nor did Ryanair claim this) and neither did Mr Mills provide any proof.

As regards the Dispatches programme, he is also wrong to state allegations (there were none) from a small number of Ryanair pilots (just under 1,100 is small?) about Ryanair fuel policies (these were not the subject of the pilot survey).

He tells your readers that “Timing is everything, isn’t it?’’ — to imply that interventions by the UK Revenue authorities could be controlled by other parties, but misses completely the fact that the UK is only one of several European countries conducting such taxation investigations over a long period. Why do we read no stories about this in the Irish media?

Mr Mills concludes that these allegations are dangerous, without identifying what allegations he is referring to. I have made no allegations. However, I have called for an independent investigation of certain relevant matters. Given the totality of recent events I do not think that my doing so is unreasonable and I reject the there is no need to investigate meme currently being promoted by various parties, including Mr Mills.

Captain Evan Cullen

President

Irish Air Line Pilots Association

Corballis Park

Dublin Airport

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