Home News O’Leary leaves Ryanair after 30 years of insulting comments

O’Leary leaves Ryanair after 30 years of insulting comments

Published on 08/03/2019

Michael O’Leary leaves Ryanair after 30 years at the controls, stating that, “much of the negative image is due to something stupid that I said 25 years ago.”

The executive president of the Irish airline is aware that his comments, especially about unions, has undermined Ryanair’s image.

O’Leary’s frequent and controversial gaffes over the years have amused and shocked in equal measure as the undoubtedly successful businessman continued a one man campaign to rile staff and customers with zeal.

O’Leary is leaving his executive position at Ryanair to take a more senior and strategic role at Ryanair Holdings, all so the airline’s reputation can be boosted, or so he claims with a €1 million cheque in his back pocket.

“One of the negative aspects of Ryanair is its association with me. I’m an easy target. Much of the negative image attributed to Ryanair is due to something stupid that I said 25 years ago,” claimed O’Leary who also said that “hell would freeze” before Ryanair recognised airline unions.

O’Leary now will oversee the executive presidents of Ryanair’s four subsidiaries: the Irish company Laudamotion (Austria), Ryanair Sun (Poland) and Ryanair UK (UK) and will decide on opportunities for mergers and acquisitions and the purchase of airplanes.

The businessman leaves on a low point in the trading figures as in the last quarter of 2018, Ryanair made a loss of about €22 million, down from €113 million in the same period the year before.


Here are some O’Leary classics:

On passengers who forget to print their boarding passes: “We think they should pay €60 for being so stupid.”

On why his bride arrived 35 minutes late for their wedding: “She’s coming here with Aer Lingus.”

On the British Airways/Iberia merger: “It reminds me of two drunks leaning on each other.”

“All flights are fuelled with Leprechaun wee and my bullshit!”

“People either see me as Jesus, Superman or an odious little shit. I think I’m Jesus. A prophet in his own time.”

“Ryanair’s biggest achievement? Bringing low fares to Europe and still lowering ’em. Biggest failure? Hiring me.”

“I should get the Nobel peace prize – screw Bono.”

“I’d love to operate aircraft where we take out the back ten rows and put in hand rails. We’d say if you want to stand, it’s five euros. People say ‘Oh but the people standing may get killed if there’s a crash’. Well, with respect, the people sitting down might get killed as well”

“People say the customer is always right, but you know what – they’re not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so.”

To a Ryanair employee who dared to join a Twitter Q&A: “Get back to work you slacker or you’re fired.”