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O'LEARY FURY AT TV CLAIMS; Ryanair chief insists: My planes are safe.

Byline: By TOM LATCHEM

FURIOUS Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary last night insisted: "My airline is safe."

O'Leary made the comments in response to a Channel 4 show that criticised security and claimed staff were overworked.

The Ryanair chief executive said: "They produced 20 allegations on January 12.

"We have written back providing documentary evidence that those allegations are untrue or unfounded. These can be seen on our website.

"More importantly, we copied it in to the Civil Aviation Authority in Britain and they have come out and said there is no substance to these allegations.

"Without further proof the company will be taking no further action."

In last night's Dispatches programme Ryanair: Caught Napping, two journalists worked undercover for five months on the airline.

The show claimed gate control staff failed to check all passports of all passengers on the plane leading to a serious security risk.

The programme's advert used a photo allegedly showing a Ryanair air hostess asleep on board a plane.

The show's producer Steve Boulton also warned workers were not properly vetted. He added: "We saw nothing to suggest planes are going to drop out of the sky.

"Working hours are a big problem for flight staff and cabin crew. We saw some of the cabin crew asleep on the flights.

"Airports are very large places. It would be easy for a passenger to get through on their passport past border control and then pass on their boarding pass to someone else."

But O'Leary flatly denied that the "sleeping air hostess" picture was genuine.

He claimed when Ryanair was presented with the allegation of dozing air staff it asked for flight number, date and cabin crew details but none were forthcoming.

O'Leary also stressed security checks were not being flouted.

He added: "There are no safety breaches and no security breaches in Ryanair."

news@irishmirror.ie

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 14, 2006
Words:316
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