Yesterday evening BBC’s Panorama broadcast a documentary on Ryanair centering on the company’s ‘low cost at all cost’ attitude. This showed the relationship between hardline business practicalities and perceptions directly affecting how staff thought of the airline they worked for.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is well known for ruthless cost cutting business practices as Panorama highlighted in his dealings with Airbus and Boeing. However, he is also known for bringing massive profits of over £154 million each year. So focused is his company on cutting costs that Ryanair have even banned staff from charging mobile phones (estimated to save the company an average of 1.4p per charge).
Panorama interviewed one pilot who certainly had a deep level of dissatisfaction with the company claiming that Ryanair expected him to do flight reports out of work hours and that staff no longer got inflight water.
Normal business practice, and certainly Christian business practice is to balance the profit making with staff welfare. This is something Marketplace Chaplains are certainly well trained to do and help implement, even within strict cost cutting measures. One question not raised in Panorama’s programme was whether time would be given off to pilots suffering a bereavement.
However it is not Marketplace Chaplains Europe’s position to criticise business practices but rather to work with existing systems and helping the real people involved. The vision of Ryanair is to bring air travel to the masses, the mission of Marketplace Chaplaincy to serve those people who work to acheive their company’s vision.