Ryanair has fired six cabin crew members for what the airline says is a staged photo taken last month that shows crew members sleeping on an office floor, sparking criticism for the airline, the BBC reported.
The image was widely shared online and was first shared on Twitter by Jim Atkinson, who admonished Ryanair for not better accommodating a crew stranded in Spain due to storms, BBC reported.
This is a Ryanair 737 crew based in Portugal, stranded in Malaga, Spain a couple of nights ago due to storms. They are sleeping on the floor of the Ryanair crew room. RYR is earning EUR1.25 billion this year but will not put stranded crews in a hotel for the night. @peterbellew ? pic.twitter.com/lILWZVqqGj
— Jim Atkinson (@Jimbaba) October 14, 2018
Twenty crew members were stranded on Oct. 14, but the crew spent a short time in the crew room before being moved to a VIP lounge and continued on their flight plan the next day, Ryanair told the news agency.
The Portuguese cabin crew union, SNPVAC, said that in fact, the crew was left in a room from 1:30 a.m. to 6 a.m., “without minimum rest facilities,” BBC reported.
The Dublin-based airline told BBC that the firings stemmed from news stories that hurt the company’s reputation.
Ryanair did not immediately return a request for comment.
The company has had a tumultuous year, regarding its workforce. Just under a third of its pilots went on strike in July, with their demands focused on better pay and a better system for transfers and promotions. The strikes expanded, resulting in canceled flights during the peak of summer vacation season.
The year prior the airline had to cancel thousands of flights, blaming a backlog of staff leave. The company’s stock fell after the 2017 mishap and in 2018, the airline was ranked among the worst airlines by Airhelp, an industry adviser.