Singing for cheap flights


This is great! Something to cheer us all up for the weekend. I wonder if Micheal O'Leary has seen it - can't imagine him singing along!

Ryanair launch new self-publicity drive: a pound for a poo



I'll get the puns out the way early: Michael O'Leary talks a lot of crap. Ha ha! This time he's floated the idea of charging passengers one pound to use the loo. Cue outrage, headlines, and more publicity for the airline. So let's ignore his latest outburst and laugh at his pre-tax profits for quarter four 2008.

Ryanair lost £92 million, because they gambled on the price of fuel and lost, fairly spectactularly. Airlines try to smoothe out fluctuating oil prices by hedging: setting a price for fuel for the next few months instead of buying at whatever the daily price is. While oil prices were rising Ryanair locked in their fuel at $124 a barrel; it then crashed to $33 / barrel.

To make things worse O'Leary refused to hedge in the months before the price hikes, so he was paying up to $147 a barrel while other airlines had locked in significantly lower prices and whacked on fuel surcharges. Hence last year's losses and O'Leary's desperate need to remind people Ryanair exists by making outrageous comments that get everyone writing pointless blogs criticising their policies.

Lyin' Air: Plane Mad versus O'Leary

Clowns and Banner

Last month the Irish group Plane Mad had a chance to see Michael O'Leary's own madness first hand. When confronted at his AGM by a topless protester O'Leary's insane ranting demonstrated an acute state of denial. Muddling up the science he claimed that he believed in climate change but not global warming. He said "There is no scientific evidence yet" and "there has been no increase in global temperatures for the last ten years".

Now we know that O'Leary didn't manage to finish his time in University but this stuff is taught at secondary school level. But he's in no way consistent: if he doesn't believe in global warming why does he boast about having the most efficient fleet or pretend that aviation accounts for 2% of CO2 emissions? Surely he shouldn't care about emissions if he thinks the Earth is not warming? Or maybe he's lying! Lying to protect his polluting business.

So how does the Irish political establishment treat someone who is clearly very stupid or very dishonest (or both)? Do they rein him in with tight regulation? Do they try to educate him or simply shun him? No, as usual our conservative government is completely in bed with business. This Irish climate criminal is treated with friendship and respect. The Tanaiste (deputy prime minister) attended his wedding. He receives 15 million Euro in direct subsidies for internal flights that he operates within Ireland.

In July he was in the Dail (Irish parliament) giving his opinions to the transport committee. Our politicians licked his ass and congratulated him on his business leadership. The chairman went as far as to say that it was always a pleasure to fly with Ryanair!

So, Plane Mad carried out an action at the ryanair AGM to expose O'Leary's lies. We hung a big "Lyin' Air" banner off the hotel where the AGM was taking place. Rob Mac confronted O'Leary directly about his dishonesty. And a spoof shareholder briefing was circulated that pushed the lies to their logical conclusion:

Dear Shareholder,

As I'm sure you are aware, a key threat to our revenue is the possibility that passengers would heed environmental concerns and fly less. We clearly need a strategy to avoid consumers becoming aware of the climate impact we have.

I want to take this opportunity to assure you that I will not let this eco-bollocks affect our profit, and to outline my strategy for dealing with it.

The tactics of denial employed by the tobacco industry proved successful for decades after the health impacts were proven. Exxon have successfully used the same tactics and many of the same personnel to deny the reality of climate change.

Currently very few passengers know that flying is the most carbon intensive way to travel. We need to direct attention away from the science by fostering a culture of doubt around the facts. The eco-loonies may attempt to cling to peer-reviewed science, but we don't need to be able to refute their facts, all we need is to spread enough misinformation for doubt to linger.

I have already been active in national newspapers and on radio questioning whether climate change is caused by carbon dioxide. In the letters pages of the Irish Times on July the 17th, I used the current inclement weather to suggest that the climate could not be warming. The liberal idiots who read the Irish Times will believe anything.

The International Aviation and Transport Association (IATA) have done commendable work suppressing information on the damage caused by aviation. There are certain concrete facts that we cannot afford to allow to become accepted. If they did so environmental awareness could become a ticking time bomb for the health of our profits. The following facts will be denied by me, like lying is going out of fashion.


  1. The reductions in emissions per passenger are meaningless due to our growth.
  2. Due to the additional pollutants released by airplanes and the altitude at which they are released the total warming effect of aviation emissions is 2.7 times greater than the warming effect of the carbon dioxide alone.
  3. The 2 per cent figure I always use for the share of carbon that aviation accounts for, conveniently ignores the whole story of other pollutants and recent growth.

Despite their sandal-wearing, muesli eating carry-on, these eco-loons have the potential to mess up our marketing. I'm just a lad from a farm in Mullingar, but I know how to put bums on seats. People want to fly, they want to fly cheaply and they don't want to have to deal with the guilt peddled by those eco fun-police. All we need to do is to make it seem like the science might not be solid and our money will keep rolling in.

I know that you are rational people who understand business. I hope that you can stand behind my blatant lies, as I am working to protect our profits.

The millions of passengers I carry around Europe on cheap flights may well be causing climate change but it's putting money in my pocket. I am making money today. It is not my business to care about tomorrow.

And who do these eco-loons think they are anyway, denting the bottom line of the company I've been tying my ego to for years? I lie very hard every day so my kids can be richer than their friends. Will I be sparing a thought for those who are now dying as a result of climate change? You must be eco-joking!

Screw the Bangladeshis.
Screw the next generation.
Deny climate change.
Fly Ryanair.

Yours sincerely,
M. O'Liary
Chief Executive

With someone like Michael O'Leary in our country is it any wonder that Plane Mad have formed to campaign against the aviation industry? And with a government that treats people like him with such respect is it any wonder that we are going to do it by taking action?!

Good news, good news


Ryanair kiss

Well Mr. O'Leary, it turns out that we "eco-nuts" can read after all. Despite the usual doom-and-gloom in the papers ("the credit crunch will knifecrime your children!") some of what we're reading is pretty good news. Take Europe, where MEP's have stood up to the coal lobby and voted for tough regulations that require companies to fit expensive equipment to trap their emissions. Don't worry, that includes you E-on!

But the news that really got us chuckling was when Michael announced his
plans for transatlantic flights with an upbeat and quite bonkers forecast where the credit crunch is "good for business", the economic outlook is "great" and where only a "fool" couldn't make money in this economic climate.

However with 400 staff at Ryanair's Stansted airport base taking a week of unpaid leave over the winter to conserve costs, and senior management taking pay cuts of at least 10% this year, it looks like Mr O'Leary may be rather too confident. Could this announcement be just more O'Leary bluster? Place your bets now...

Ryanair's skint, BA's broke and still they want to expand

No, no, no

Gloomy times ahead for troubled airlines: Ryanair announced today that it's going to have to raise prices to cover fuel prices. It's also expecting to ground 10% of its fleet over the winter. If I was prone to anthrompomorphism I'd be talking about the planet heaving a sigh of relief.

Meanwhile BA is considering the budget model - charging for food, check-in and sick bags - again because of rising oil prices. Aviation fuel is skyrocketing, caused partly by a decade or two of unrepressed demand. All those nonsense flights to places you can't spell have sucked up a good deal of oil, and oil producers can't refine it fast enough to satisfy everyone.

Of course any sensible government might take this as a good time to drop their plans to expand Heathrow (and every other airport, just about). After all, with prices rising demand for flights will fall, and that kind of negates the need to turn an ancient village into a runway. So the industry turns to it's figure heads - in this case IATA Director General Giovanni
Bisignani, who slated the UK's airports infrastructure at the annual IATA piss-up. "This year's Worst Regulator Award goes to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Look at Heathrow. Service levels are a national embarrassment." Oh well, if he say's it's terrible we'd better expand, eh?

Ryanair - yawn - naughty website hijinks


Ryanair V sign

If it's Wednesday, it must be time for a story about Ryanair. Today's thrilling tale involves Ryanair and the Office of Fair Trading, who have demanded they take their website down and remove misleading prices from it.

Of course, Ryanair don't see it that way. A spokesman told the Times: "Our software was designed to cope with 50 million passengers a year and we have reached that, so we are introducing a new site capable of handling more." Not so, says the OFT. "They were given until the end of February to make the changes and they are now shutting down to make sure they comply."

I suppose it must be fun to work in Ryanair's PR department. It's got to be one of the last jobs where you get to tell blatant fibs for a living. Oh well, perhaps the £20 million in lost sales will make up for it.

Yet another ASA ruling on Ryanair

Michael O'Leary sucked into an engine

Seems to happen once a week at the moment: wake up, turn on radio, hear that Ryanair have been scolded by the Advertising Standards Agency. This time it's for naughty adverts with a saucy young lady dressed as a schoolgirl.

Ryanair, ever the tireless defenders of free-speech and justice, have refused to abide by the ruling. A while ago, the boss of the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) - Christopher Graham - told the Guardian "Ryanair has been given every opportunity to work with the ASA and get its advertising right. It faces the real threat of formal sanctions, which includes a referral to the Office of Fair Trading under the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988."

Go on Christoper. Save me from writing any more blogs about Ryanair adverts. Frankly, it's getting very dull indeed.

Ryanair could face advertising sanctions for "misleading the public"

Ryanair has now been warned it could face advertising sanctions for "misleading the public" and betraying consumer trust as well as bringing "advertising into disrepute."

The boss of the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) - Christopher Graham - told the Guardian:

"Ryanair has been given every opportunity to work with the ASA and get its advertising right. It faces the real threat of formal sanctions, which includes a referral to the Office of Fair Trading under the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988."

Ryanair in self-promotion shocker!

Fed up with only getting into the broadsheets by buying an advert or two, Micheal O'Lairy has re-invented himself as the people's champion, saving us all from 'Greedy Gordon' and his evil tax grabbing ways (surely 'returning APD to its 1999/2000 budgetary level' - Ed.).

Funny how a company which got rich by demmanding bungs from local councils to fly into their airports can accuse anyone else of highway robbery isn't it? But, as the Independent reports, O'Dearie goes further, taking on lastminute.com and other travel agents in a battle over overcharging for flights.

And finally...

It's goodbye to loudspoken Ryanair idiot Michael O'Leary, who will be stepping down to "spend more time with his family".

Doesn't that usually mean he's been sacked?