In a bid to end years of bad PR, Irish airline Ryanair has announced it has teamed up with legendary air ace, James ‘Biggles’ Bigglesworth, signing him to fly its Costa del Sol route this Summer.

CEO, Michael O’Leary, told Flight International Magazine: ‘I’m delighted to have signed him against fierce competition, but we got our man in the end and that’s what counts.’

After training for his commercial pilot’s licence Biggles is expected to take to the skies in May, along with trusty companions Algy, Ginger and Smyth who have also been signed to assume duties as co-pilot and cabin crew.

However the airline is being coy over rumours they intend to charge a heavy premium for services piloted by the legendary airman. ‘Well we’ll have to wait and see won’t we? But I’m sure there’s going to be quite a demand for flights on his rota,’ said a noncommittal O’Leary.

Meanwhile the CAA, despite welcoming the news, has added a note of caution. ‘Whereas Biggles is an icon and a great pilot, it’s imperative that he refrains from dog fights, victory rolls and suchlike when piloting a commercial aircraft,’ said their spokesman Erich von Stalhein.