Ryanair’s O’Leary hits back at EU

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary launched a characteristically noisy campaign against the ‘numbnuts’ Brussels ruling forcing it to repay money received from Belgium’s publicly-owned Charleroi airport on the grounds that it constituted illegal state aid.

His aggressive vow to ‘sue the arse off the Commission’ (Sunday Times, 8 February) and launch tit-for-tat complaints against rival airlines led commentators to question the wisdom of the ruling.

‘By what right do the fat cats of Brussels and Strasbourg dictate to the people of Europe that they must not enjoy cheap flights?’ fumed The Sun (3 February).

Yet the end of the week brought something of a backlash when analysts pronounced the Ryanair business model largely unscathed.

‘O’Leary has opted for his characteristic megaphone diplomacy... It’s a significant tactical error to over-egg the consequences,’ judged The Herald (5 February), while EU Business noted that his ‘doom-laden predictions are wide of the mark’ (4 February).

If O’Leary is not to be accused of crying wolf, he might want to turn the

volume down a bit.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.



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