Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary says one pilot rather than two could suffice for many passenger flights.
He says a cabin crew member could be trained to land a plane in case the captain was suddenly incapacitated.
"Really, you only need one pilot," he continues. "Let's take out the second pilot. Let the bloody computer fly it.
"If the pilot has an emergency, he rings the bell, he calls her in," Mr O'Leary said. "She could take over."
Interviewed in Business Week magazine, O’Leary also stated that passengers could get a 25 percent discount if they stood rather than sat down for the duration of a flight.
He envisages some of the plane being like a New York subway car with people able to hang on to overhead straps or rails.
"Yes, somebody could get injured," said O'Leary. "I don't say that lightly. But we'd do exactly what we do in every other case: 'Ladies and gentlemen -- bing bong! -- we're going to have some slight turbulence. Hold on to the rail tightly.'"
He also told the magazine that the customer is not always righjt.
“One of the great MBA-speak ideas is that the customer is always right," he says. "The customer is usually wrong. The only time you hear from a customer is when they're usually complaining because they want to break our rules. Why can't I get a refund for my non-refundable ticket? Bugger off."
"He insults the dignity of the flying public every time he opens his mouth," Kate Hanni, the founder of FlyersRights.org, a non-profit passenger advocacy group, told BusinessWeek.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore