I have often thought that Michael O’Leary would be perfectly cast in a Horlicks ad. You know, the ones that star a dastardly traffic warden, bus or taxi driver, with the endline: “How does he sleep at night?”
The rambunctious one has been at it again, manufacturing a public tantrum against Boeing, which supplies Ryanair’s fleet. The US airframe maker has had the audacity to reject O’Leary’s outrageous ‘recession-priced’ discount on up to 200 new jet liners. Once bitten, twice shy apparently. After 9/11, when the industry was on its uppers, O’Leary managed to screw what he himself described as “rapacious” discounts out of the manufacturer. Airbus, the only competitor in the field, won’t touch O’Leary with a bargepole.
His response? “If we don’t get a deal with Boeing before the end of the year we’re going to … begin to run the business from 2012 for maximised profits.”
Whatever has he been doing up to now? Running Ryanair as a charity? If so he’s been the principal beneficiary. Shareholders must be heart-broken to learn they are about to receive a dividend for the first time.