‘It's a form of national service’ Ryanair drafts in familiar face to fix flight problems

‘It's a form of national service’ Ryanair drafts in familiar face to fix flight problems

IT shouldn’t take Ryanair’s new Chief Operations Officer long to get to grips with things when he joins the airline in December.

The Irishman, who has ditched his job as Malaysia Airlines CEO, is the company’s former Director Flight Operations.

He said the reason for returning to Ryanair was his love of Ireland.

Malaysia Airlines expressed its surprise at the move, saying Bellew had given a commitment to them only last month when asked at a press conference to comment on speculation he would re-join Ryanair.

Ryanair has faced a backlash over the last


Here’s what we know about the man Michael O’Leary has tasked with getting Ryanair shipshape...

Who is Peter Bellew?

Peter Bellew previously worked in Ryanair until 2014 where he was Director Flight Operations. A Trinity College Dublin graduate, before moving into aviation, he was in charge of London operations for Irish bus tour company CIE tours.

He was also Director and General Manager of Kerry Airport on the early 1990s.

Originally from Bettystown, Co. Meath he will re-join the Ryanair team as Chief Operations Officer in Dublin from December 1.

What are Ryanair expecting for their prodigal son?

When he returns to Ryanair Bellew will take over responsibility for all Ryanair’s flight operations, ground operations and engineering.


He will be tasked specifically on pilot production, training and career development.

His mission is to make sure Ryanair never repeats the pilot rostering failure it suffered in early September when over 20,000 flights cancellations.

Malaysian Airlines caught off guard by CEO’s departure

Bellew leaves Malaysian Airlines after a year in charge. The airline is now on the hunt for its third CEO in as many years.

The airline is still recovering from two tragedies in 2014, flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared and flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.

In a statement on their website the airline described Bellew’s departure as unexpected.

They said: ”At a press conference with Malaysian and international media on 27 September 2017, Bellew had expressed his commitment to Malaysia Airlines when asked to comment on speculation that he would re-join RyanAir. He said that he was happy to be in Malaysia and that the turnaround of Malaysia Airlines would be "the greatest achievement of my life".


“The Malaysia Airlines Board of Directors will meet and an announcement will be made in due course. Our operations and services continue as normal, and our commitment and priority remains with our customers. The turnaround of Malaysia Airlines remains on track and on schedule, as per the MAS Recovery Plan.”

Michael O’Leary believes Peter Bellew can transform Ryanair

Here’s what he said: “We are pleased to welcome Peter back to Ryanair. Having worked previously in a senior role in our Operations team, Peter has an unrivalled knowledge of our business model and how we maintain controlled growth, with industry leading punctuality, for the benefit of our customers and our people.

“Peter will lead a significant transformation in the way we reward and interact with our pilots, improve their working environment and career development over the coming years as we grow the fleet to some 600 aircraft and expand our traffic, at lower fares, to 200m customers p.a.”

Bellew is excited to be returning home

Bellew said it was a sense of responsibility to Ireland that prompted his decision to leave Malaysian Airlines’.

“I am excited to return home to Ryanair and take up the challenge to grow the operation sustainably,” he said.  “I look forward to working with all the team and all the crews I know so well to further develop our growth to 600 aircraft over the next six years.”


Of Ryanair he added: “It is Ireland’s greatest company. They need my help and there is a big challenge. It is a form of national service.”