Ryanair chief pilot sacked over string of grooming allegations

Aidan Murray

The allegations of misconduct are believed to have taken place over the last 12 to 18 months

Aviomar Flight Academy / Facebook
Paige Creaney

By Paige Creaney

Published: 14/06/2023

- 16:55

Updated: 15/06/2023

- 11:09

It came following an anonymous tip-off two-a-half weeks ago

Ryanair has sacked its chief pilot following an investigation into reports of a “pattern of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour” towards junior female pilots.

Aidan Murray, who was appointed in 2020, was dismissed following an investigation of alleged breaches of the airline’s anti-harassment policies.

It came following an anonymous tip-off two-a-half weeks ago claiming that Murray had harassed four junior female pilots.

Murray allegedly told the women in messages that they “had an amazing body”.

Ryanair flight

Ryanair’s chief people officer emphasized the company’s commitment to a safe and secure working environment.


He went on to ask the women for pictures of their bodies, sources claimed, promising that they would not be shared.

Ryanair’s investigation led to eight female members of staff aged between 21 and 32 providing statements and giving evidence alleging misconduct by Murray.

It is believed that Murray initially contacted the women directly via text message with offers of support in their careers.

Subsequently he began changing rosters, as he was able to do in his role as chief pilot, so that he regularly flew services alongside some of the women.

The allegations of misconduct are believed to have taken place over the last 12 to 18 months and the airline is believed to have investigated whether the behaviour was more widespread among senior pilots.

The eight women that provided evidence said that no other pilots had displayed similar behaviours to Murray’s.

The former pilot was interviewed on three occasions as part of the Ryanair investigation and was suspended last Thursday and dismissed on Tuesday.

Darrell Hughes, Ryanair chief people officer, told staff in an email on Wednesday: “We regret to advise all of you that last evening we terminated with immediate effect the employment of the Ryanair DAC chief pilot.

“This decision follows an investigation over recent days which identified a pattern of repeated inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour towards a number of female junior pilots, which was in breach of our anti-harassment policy.

“We are determined to ensure that all our people can come to work in a safe and secure environment.”

Ryanair has provided counselling to the people affected by the allegations and one of the original four named in the anonymous complaint is understood to have left the airline, one requested a change of base and two others have asked for roster changes.

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