Ryanair boss goes full throttle in showdown with regulator

At least Michael O’Leary started politely enough. The Ryanair chief executive pitched up at a Competition Commission hearing, bristling with indignation over its provisional decision to force the airline to sell down its 29.8pc stake in its Irish rival, Aer Lingus.

“Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon,” he began, before getting down to business. “As our written submission explains, we strongly disagree with the conclusions reached in the Provisional Findings Report, which are bizarre, unsubstantiated, inconsistent with both the facts and six-and-a-half years of evidence, and wrong in law.”

goldenboy: Ryanair is fantastic. They would shake up international travel if they got hold of Aer Lingus creating thousands of jobs in ireland as they make it a major hub airport for flights to the US.

Worcesterwest: "Ryanair is fantastic" Either you have never flown with them or you are being paid to say that…

bletchlypark: God!  this is an argument that is soooo easy to win I really must remenmber to pay much much  more for a bus ride in the sky around Europe  those socialist republic of Euro taxland sovereign airlines don't pay for themselves you know

Susan See: Snooty, pompus, etc. are terms that poor people use towards people who have the money to use regular airlines.  I have never, ever found such rude people on any airline as they are on Ryan Air.   I think poor people are used to bad service and a condescending attitude so they take it for granted.  The middle class don't want to put up with that.  And you are right.  If you don't like it, don't use it.  I won't.  And I hope the fuckkers go out of business.

James Flynn: Remember flying to London for 350 quid? O'Leary shouldn't be running Ryanair, he should be running the country, instead of, a bunch of failed school teachers and socialists…

bletchlypark:  exactly!

Joshuaatthewalls: Drabux Quite, my choice is to avoid them like the Plague

bletchlypark:  another snob!

earnedtheright: I have used both airlines and my airline of choice is Ryanair… Trying to get sense out of Airlingus took umpteen phone calls and three weeks to sort out last year. At least you know exactly what you are getting with Ryanair… No frills! Long live St Michael O'Leary and his forward thinking team. Ps I use them frequently, not just as a one off alternative to a more pricey scheduled carrier.

PierrePendre:      Much as I loathe Ryanair, I loathe the EC Commission and its bowler hatted shop steward hostility to capitalism and wealth creation exponentially more.     O'Leary is Henry Ford to Arthur Scargill and Leninist economics

blueprint: Thank God it's a few years now since I've had to fly on this awful man's awful airline. The aviation equivalent of eating at McDonalds.

bletchlypark:  snob!

easyp: I loath him but agree with his position and believe he has been blocked from taking over Aer Lingus.

bletchlypark:  you *loath* a incredibly successful businessman who has provided stable employment for British and bankrupt Irish people through a recession ? do you think your value systems need revaluation ?

drabux: With Ryan Air you have a choice: fly or don't fly with them.  With the EC the decision about what and from whom I might make the purchase and how much I should pay is increasingly made by them. Which do you fear the most?

farrier: If Ryanair took over Aer Lingus, the big losers would be west end theatres and upmarket hotels in London. As an Irishman, I would prefer to pay Delta or American €300 to fly me to NYC rather than give Mick O'Leary €1 to fly me to an aerodrome in London.  Ryanair's holding in Aer Lingus is a tactical blocking mechanism because it prevents anyone else from acquiring enough of the shares to force through a complete takeover.  As long as Ryanair owns 29.9%, nobody else is interested in taking a significant stake in Aer Lingus.

percypig:  Well put. I flew Ryanair once which was enough to put me off booking another flight with them ever again.

thammond65: Up to you - but do you really think the 80m who fly with them each year are all first time passengers who decide never to fly with them again? The vast majority are repeat customers, so perhaps that should tell you something about judging a service provider on one experience.

drabux: Fine.  Don't use them then.  If others agree with you then they will go out of business.  That's how capitalism works.  No need for repressive superstate coercion.

rw: Precisely! RW

mardler: Flying Ryanair is just a means of getting from A to B cheaply and efficiently- it's just a bus service in the sky, I don't want silver service meals or to be patronised by snooty cabin staff, if you can keep doing it Michael, I'll keep flying it.

Jaz: Totally agree, mardler.

goldenboy: If Ryanair took over Aer Lingus you may not be flying to NYC for £1, but millions of others, who are not quite so pompous, would be delighted to do so.  The reason that they do not want O'Leary to get Aer Lingus is that he would change the economics of airlines flying to the states. The flag carriers are terrified.