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Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

'Facebook account would not be helpful to us' - Ryanair's new spokesperson

The incoming head of communications Robin Kiely says that tapping into social media sites would require the airline to employ more people to deal with queries.

THE NEW HEAD of communications at Ryanair has said that opening up social media accounts on sites like Twitter and Facebook would not be helpful for the low-cost airline.

Robin Kiely, who steps up to his new role this week replacing the outgoing Stephen McNamara, told PR Week that such accounts would result in too many customer queries and would require more resources from the airline.

“A Facebook account would not be helpful to us, as we would have so many people looking for a response,” he said adding that it would having to hire  ”two more people just to sit on Facebook all day”.

Kiely said that passengers can get in touch through Ryanair’s customer care line but said that as part of his new role he was keen to open Ryanair up to the media with a dedicated section on its website that would “prevent false claims” from spreading.

Ryanair has issued defamation proceedings against The Sun newspaper after a Dutch TV programme said that the airline was running its planes with low fuel reserves, an allegation repeated in the newspaper which the airline said was “false and inaccurate”.

While last December the Sunday Times newspaper printed a correction and apology following a story from September 2012 that claimed Ryanair planes had broken safety rules over 1,200 times. The paper accepted the story was “incorrect” and such allegations were “untrue”.

Kiely, a former journalist, takes up his new role on Thursday having been promoted internally from communications manager, a post he took up in April 2012.

Ryanair had previously advertised for the outgoing McNamara’s role. The airline’s chief executive Michael O’Leary described the role as “the worst job in PR” when the vacancy was announced last December.

“As a company that spends little on advertising, we rely on our communications department to generate loads of free PR,” said O’Leary “as well as responding to the never-ending series of absurd claims and fanciful stories that surface on a daily basis.”

In full:’s never-ending series of “absurd claims and fanciful stories that surface on a daily basis”

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