Quoting Dominique Fouda, EASA's Head of Communication & Quality Department in summer 2014:
"The fact that airlines make their personnel pay does not intervene in aviation safety regulation, as long as pilots are technically qualified" _source
Today we will debunk this statement again with another document. Fast backward.
July 10th 2013, a Project Manager and former Flight Ops IT Super User from Ryanair created this document:
[Congratulations "CIOFRI" (now flying in Asia)! // "SALAIS", you've been a bad bad boy...]
Surprisingly enough, this document (sometimes followed by a reminder via mail to "comply with SOP") appeared after July 26th 2012, when three Ryanair flights made 'mayday' emergency landings for low fuel reasons (as was heavily covered worldwide), even after the CIAIAC's investigation (that was included in 2010 RYR's other accident report) and IAA's recommendation "to review fuel policy".
How similar documents might have influenced the events of 2012 (and possibly before) remains unclear, however much worrying is what little might have changed (internal sources allege the 'fuel league' stopped summer 14).
Just like "pay to play/fly" scenarios, isn't financial pressure an undesirable leverage on safety? Let alone human factors (in this era where airlines pride themselves on CRM). We must assume:
"The fact that airlines make their personnel pay take liberties with safety culture does not intervene in aviation safety regulation, as long as pilots are technically qualified comply with minimum legal fuel requirements" ?
At this point, our Regulators can drop the pretense for concern:
"Safety does not intervene in safety as long as it's legal"
There we go! No wonder the system is gamed...
edit June 1, 2015: the danish business.dk caught up with the fuel league here and there on May 19, 2015, triggering a European Parliament question on May 27...
edit July 7: hope was short lived. Move along, nothing to see here!