Ryanair welcomes joint meeting on safety standards

DUBLIN Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:53am EDT

Ryanair crew stand in front of a passenger jet on the tarmac of Marignane airport in Marseille in this May 10, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/Files

Ryanair crew stand in front of a passenger jet on the tarmac of Marignane airport in Marseille in this May 10, 2006 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier/Files

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair has welcomed a meeting between Irish and Spanish aviation authorities to resolve a dispute between the airline and the Spanish government over safety standards.

The authorities agreed on Tuesday to jointly investigate the diversion to Madrid of a Ryanair flight from Paris to Tenerife. The Irish authorities said the airline was on a par with the safest carriers in Europe.

A Ryanair (RYA.I) spokesman said on Wednesday the airline welcomed the joint statement, adding it had invited the Spanish Ministry to send a team of inspectors to Dublin and had provided them with unfettered access to its facilities.

The meeting followed a series of comments by Spanish authorities about incidents in Spanish airspace involving Europe's largest budget airline.

Madrid is investigating emergency landings by three Ryanair planes in Valencia on July 26 after they approached their minimum required fuel, landings Ryanair said were forced by bad weather, adding that it complies fully with EU safety procedures.

Spanish authorities are also looking into an incident in which a Ryanair flight diverted and landed at Barcelona's El Prat airport after a possible engine fault was detected.

The investigation announced on Tuesday follows a diversion on Sunday. Ryanair said in a statement the flight from Paris to Tenerife was diverted to Madrid.

Ryanair has accused the Spanish aviation authorities of falsifying information on incidents involving its planes, an accusation Spanish officials have rejected. (Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by David Holmes)