Michael at his best !

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Michael at his best ! Empty Michael at his best !

Post by atoutprix on Fri 7 Mar 2014 - 17:50

A few good ones here :


Sampling :

Michael O’Leary can’t keep his gob shut. A couple of months after the pugnacious Ryanair boss said he would quit the public eye to “stop unnecessarily pissing people off”, we’re sitting at a window seat of a five-star St James’s hotel as he rants about Heathrow, Guinness, naked Irish academics and an anti-Ryanair “conspiracy”. O’Leary is back.

As well as paying to use the loo (“people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in the future — though I would wipe their bums for a fiver,” O’Leary has said), one of the most frequently rolled-out Ryanairisms that’s never happened is its ambition to launch long-haul flights to the US.

“The Gulf airlines’ orders are so ginormous — Etihad and Emirates and Qatar order so many f***ing planes — that you go to Boeing and Airbus and say, ‘Any chance of buying 20 aircraft for transatlantic routes?’ And they respond: ‘Yeah, how about 2023?’ Everything until then is all going to the Gulf. It’s f***ing incredible.”

Appointed chief executive in 1994, O’Leary is now worth at least £80 million. But apart from  the races and his string of horses, he is hardly a big spender. His usual garb is a Gap shirt and cheap white trainers. He doesn’t like holidays — apart from those taken by his customers which pay his wages, they are “a complete waste of time”.

“I’m married with four kids. They take care of the money,” he maintains. Does he want them to follow in his footsteps? “Oh God, no. I want them all to drop out of college, set up a vacuous internet start-up like Twitter or Facebook, float it for billions a few years later and live the life of Riley.”

And for his eventual Ryanair retirement, you can rule out a board role at Guinness maker Diageo too. “Guinness is a vital part of our tourism industry in Ireland because if we don’t get visitors to come and drink that *peep*, we have to drink it instead,” he suddenly spurts. “Save us all! Dire stuff.” He’s supping coffee and petit fours rather than stout while getting fired up over London’s aviation crisis. “It’s going to happen — three more runways at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted,” he says. “Residents shouldn’t be allowed to block expansion, it’s ridiculous. You choose to be a resident under the flight path. If you bought a house beside Heathrow, you knew where it was. If you’re not happy, move. All the houses next to the airport have risen in value over the past 10 years. Move!”

Occasionally, though, O’Leary likes to veer away from controversy. Ryanair’s calendar of female cabin crew stripping off sells out of its 10,000 print run each year, but the airline boss says: “If it was my choice, I’d stop it. The calendar now generates more negative PR than positive.”

That, he reckons, is down to “an anti-Ryanair sentiment. We get slagged off for the calendar even though we raise €100,000 (£82,000) for charity every year. A bunch of academics at Trinity did one this year, getting naked behind violins and books and things, and it was all ‘Ah, isn’t that nice?’ But when Ryanair does it, they’re exploiting their cabin crew, sexualising them. Why is it we’re always the guilty ones?”

No chance of that disappearing but O’Leary’s vision of the future does include a world with pilotless planes. “For now we have two pilots, one to not touch the computer and the other one to make sure he doesn’t touch the computer. But over the longer term, say 50 years, there may well be no-pilot planes. We’ve already got military flying drones, why not?”
Would he fly on one? “Absolutely,” says O’Leary, possibly mentally counting the cost savings of sacking all his pilots. “You can fly rockets to the moon and drones to Afghanistan, it’s not a huge leap of the imagination to have computers flying planes.”

Pilotless planes might function just as well as manned ones but there’s surely no algorithm out there to replace Ryanair’s inimitable boss.
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