SCARE IN THE AIR: Two Ryanair planes involved in mid-air near-miss over Spain

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TRIO OF TROUBLE: A tough month for Michael O'Leary and Ryanair Photo credit: Shutterstock

THE budget Irish airline Ryanair is facing problems on the ground and in the air after two of its planes were involved in a near-miss incident over Spain.

With regards to the ‘scare in the air’, the two Boeing 737-800, came frighteningly close to one another around 30 kilometres from Pamplona last month.

A preliminary report has been carried out by the Spanish Civil Aviation Accidents and Incidents Investigation Commission, an independent organisation connected to the Public Works Ministry.

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It states that the planes were ‘on the frequency of the Madrid control centre’ when their anti-collision alert systems sounded.

At this point the aircraft, which had flown out of Santiago de Compostela and Sevillla on October 2, were four kilometres apart horizontally, and just 122 metres vertically.

Once the alarms had sounded, the flight crew corrected their courses and the flights continued without incident.

Ryanair released the following statement regarding the Spanish Civil Aviation Accidents and Incidents Investigation Commission’s report:
“As the details of this incident confirm, there was no “near collision” as both aircraft took appropriate diversion measures when they were separated by more than 2 miles and 400 feet of vertical air space.”

In July, a Ryanair plane made an emergency landing in Germany after losing pressure and dropping from 12,000 metres of altitude to 3,000 metres during a flight from Dublin to Croatia.

But the pressure keeps piling on Ryanair as investors make fresh calls for chairman of 20 years, David Bonderman, to stand down.

In addition, the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has advised the company to start planning for a replacement for Michael O’Leary, who has been chief executive since 1994.

Forum chairman Ian Greenwood, has written to Michael Cawley, head of Ryanair’s nomination committee, claiming it will file the resolutions in favour of the changes at the Dublin-listed firm’s next annual meeting in September 2019.

Ryanair responded in regards to the LAPFF: “Ryanair shareholders recently passed all AGM resolutions by a large majority, including the nomination of directors and chairman. They appreciate how fortunate we are to have an outstanding Chairman like David Bonderman guide the Board and the airline.” 

The forum, which represents the pension funds of local authorities across the UK holding combined assets worth almost €260 billion, has control of about 1 per cent of Ryanair’s shares.

Under Irish company law, investors holding 3 per cent of shares can introduce a resolution, meaning LAPFF requires the support of other large investors.

But at this year’s annual meeting in September, almost 30 per cent of shareholders voted against Bonderman’s reappointment, so it looks likely the resolution will gain the shareholder backing it needs.

The news comes in the wake of a much publicised ‘racist row’ in which the airline was forced to defend its actions after a passenger was caught on video being verbally assaulted.

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