THREE aircrafts from the low-cost travel firm Ryanair had to make an emergency pit-stop in Valencia because they had reached their reserve fuel minimums.
They originally tried to land in Madrid, but summer storms overhead prevented this and forced them to divert to Manises airport.
Pilots had to send out an alert to the control towers as a matter of urgency to say they were on their way.
The Irish airline says it ‘neither confirms nor denies’ that the emergency landings were due to not having enough fuel available to make the planned journeys.
Ryanair, which has recently slashed numerous flights across Spain, locked horns with airline governing body AENA after refusing to use passenger tunnels between the terminal at El Altet (Alicante) and their crafts, saying it would ‘seriously harm’ the company’s ‘low-cost model’ as it would increase embarking and disembarking times and also staff costs.
The courts have upheld AENA’s case and said the tunnels must be used for safety reasons.
Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO, is known for his drastic cost-cutting measures, which in early 2010 led to his almost deciding to eliminate second pilots from the airline’s flights.
“The computer deals with everything, practically, and getting rid of co-pilots would save airlines a fortune,” O’Leary reportedly said.
But this unwise idea was immediately vetoed by all other airlines.