Ryanair CEO says he’d like to remove co-pilots to cut costs

Ryanair, who has run to the press in the past with clever marketing ploys like removing seats and charging for toilets on sky buses, has upped the crazy ante today to propose eliminating “unnecessary” co-pilots to save a few Euro.

Two pilots is the industry standard, in case one pilot becomes incapacitated or drops dead between destinations. But O’Leary scoffs at this idea and says flight attendants can step in and take over for a dead pilot on short haul flights:

He backed up his comments by adding that trains were allowed to have one driver even though this could conceivably cause a crash in the event of a heart attack. He said: “It could save the entire industry a fortune. In 25 years with over about 10 million flights we’ve had one pilot who suffered a heart attack in flight and he landed the plane.”

Save the industry a fortune or make them one? Would the cost savings actually be passed on by such a risky venture? O’Leary says he’s serious about the idea and plans to write aviation authorities for permission to implement it. But a British pilots’ association called the threat a “bid for publicity,” and said “passengers would be horrified.”

So, would you be able to put yourself on a cheaper flight knowing that only one dude occupied the cockpit?