Spring is in the air at MT towers – Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, every business journalist’s favourite headline generator, is back. This time he’s promising to fly from Europe to the US for €10 (£8.20), a pittance until you add on paying for your meals, bags, taxes, breathing…
O’Leary said he wants to fly from 12-14 European cities to a similar number of major US destinations, with $10 (£6) tickets back across the Atlantic. The catch (other than all those extra charges)? Ryanair doesn’t have the planes to cart sweaty, squashed passengers across the ocean, and won’t for several years: Gulf airlines are gobbling up the available jumbo jets, the airline boss told an Irish Hotels Federation conference earlier this week.
O'Leary has also talked about flying to the US a few times before and it has mysteriously not materialised, so it doesn't look any more likely than last time he parrotted the idea.
In Ryanair's imaginary translatlantic future, it wouldn’t fly to the US from Dublin, though, as Aer Lingus (which O’Leary tried and failed to take over) would ‘dump on them’ to protect their route. What a delightful turn of phrase.
In a wonderfully ironic O’Leary-ism, the budget airline boss also said he is expecting to spend €34m more on advertising this year because ‘we need a more sophisticated image than me running around being a cheeky chappy or an annoying prat’.
And there was MT, thinking O’Leary had finally sat down and shut up after he sent out his uber-dull deputy to do the talking on Ryanair’s rubbish results day earlier this month.