O’Leary was speaking to the Guardian after reporting record profits – 24% higher than last year – and a 20% rise in passenger numbers. So you’d have expected him to be in a good mood. But suggestions that climate change concerns could threaten this progress met with a typically bullish response.
It was ‘complete bloody nonsense’ to target the aviation industry, he told the paper, since it only produces 2% of the world’s emissions. ‘China and India are laughing at us while they build more coal-fired power stations. The European middle classes are having a mid-life crisis and the sooner we wake up and say so the better,’ he continued, suggesting he’s not a big Al Gore fan.
You’re always guaranteed fireworks with O’Leary, whose remarkable career we’ve been following for a long time. (In fact, an MT article five years ago prompted a Penguin book, ‘Michael O’Leary: A Life in Full Flight’ – you can read our review here).