12/10/2009

Ryanair Slams BBC 'Hatchet Job'

Michael O'Leary has branded a BBC documentary featuring practices at Ryanair a "hatchet job".

The BBC Panorama show, which is due to be aired tonight on BBC One, is believed to have investigated why Ryanair is surviving the recession, the company's business model, along with owner Michael O'Leary's unconventional PR tactics.

The show has however caused a major bust up with Mr O'Leary over allegations within tonight's programme that he has in the past referred to his staff as "lemons".

Mr O'Leary (pictured) has since published 25 pages of e-mail correspondence with the programmes makers on its website.

Responding ahead of tonight's broadcast, the Ryanair chief said: "BBC Panorama know that they have no case in this 'Hatchet Job' programme.

"We have already rubbished their false claims about hidden charges and an agreement with Airbus.
News Image
"It is a pity that Panorama, with all their resources, investigative journalists and the power of the BBC, were not honest enough to agree to a 'live' or an unedited interview with Ryanair, which would have provided Panorama's viewers with 'balance and facts', instead of Panorama's 'false claims and fiction'.

"These clowns even wasted licence payers money flying to Dublin on high fare, frequently delayed, BMI, instead of flying with….Ryanair."

Ryanair said that two of the programme's main claims that Ryanair has "hidden charges" and that Ryanair reached an agreement with Airbus in 2001, have both been "proven to be false".

Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said all Panorama were presenting was "a series of subjective claims from a tiny number a number of disgruntled former employees and alleged passengers, none of which have been substantiated".

The published correspondance contains a number of frank and heated exchanges from the airline, accusing reporter Vivian White of biased and misleading claims.

Also in the correspondence, Mr O'Leary and spokesman Stephen McNamara frequently deny an accusation that Ryanair had reached an agreement with Airbus at a meeting in Toulouse in 2002 over an order for Airbus planes before later breaking the agreement.

(DW/BMcC)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

31 May 2013
Conservative MP Patrick Mercer Quits Over BBC Panorama Programme
A Conservative MP has resigned from the party follwing a BBC Panorama programme alleging he broke parliamentary rules over lobbying. Mr Patrick Merecer will step down as MP for Newark at the general election in 2015. Mr Mercer said: “Panorama are planning to broadcast a programme alleging that I have broken Parliamentary rules.
29 October 2012
'No Excuse' For Abuse Of Patients
Health Minister Norman Lamb has said there is "no excuse" for the mistreatment of patients at the Winterbourne View care home. The now-closed private hospital is under public fire after being exposed by a BBC Panorama report. The report found staff members had routinely physically abused and tormented elderly residents at the home.
27 November 2003
Bectu issues slams sale of BBC Technology
The BBC are to sell their wholly-owned commercial subsidiary BBC Technology, subject to final approval by DCMS Secretary of State Tessa Jowell.
29 April 2004
More peak time arts, current affairs and documentaries, say BBC
The BBC has promised to air more arts, current affairs and documentaries during peak time viewing. Publishing the Corporation's 'Statements of Programme Policy for 2004/2005' the BBC has underscored a commitment to reduce 'make-over' drama programmes.
16 March 2012
BBC To Move Forward With Paid Download Service
The BBC's director of archive content Roly Keating has said viewers are “very comfortable” with the corporations plans to launch an iTunes-style download service.