While Ryanair’s reputation for being cheap is well known, recent reports in the British press indicate that passengers on a recent flight from London Stanstead to Riga, Latvia that had to turn back because of unusual noises, believed the aircraft windshield was repaired by duct tape. In reality, new sealant for a cockpit window was covered by aluminum speed tape to enable the sealant to properly cure, but had passengers quite concerned.
Of course, with proposals ranging from pay toilets to standing room seats, Ryanair is known for its cost-cutting approach. Irish regulators completed their investigation of the incident, which met regulations. The moral of the story — if you are known for being cheap and even if you use use expensive specialty sealing tape on repairs — expect the public to believe you are using duct tape to repair aircraft. Fortunately, Ryanair’s cost cutting isn’t that extreme, and they maintain aircraft in accordance with regulations. But once you have a reputation, imaginations can run wild.