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'When we can charge for a wee...

..we will'. Simon Binns meets Ryanair's Michael O'Leary

Written by . Published on February 3rd 2011.

'When we can charge for a wee...

MICHAEL O’Leary certainly made an impression on his flying visit to Manchester this week. The cocksure Ryanair chief executive was full of praise for the new management team at Liverpool's rival airport and couldn’t resist a jibe at some of his rivals.

Use a PR firm? Why would I want to do that? They’ll tell you the customer is always
right, which is bollocks. The customer is
normally wrong

The four new routes represent a canny deal for Manchester Airport and suggest that Ryanair – for all their bluster otherwise – do actually need a proper presence here. The new airport management team are making strides in the right direction with some good route wins in the last few months. Not to forget the A380.

So, Ryanair and the airport are friends again. It certainly won’t be dull.

Simon Binns sat down with Mr O’Leary for a cup of coffee and a pastry in Terminal 2 – here are the highlights.

On Liverpool and Manchester airports:
“The management at Manchester Airport has changed. The old lot didn’t know how to grow. The new lot recognise Birmingham, Liverpool and East Midlands have taken some of their business. They want to win routes back from those airports.

“We’re all involved in prostitution, but the old management didn’t know much about the sex industry. We’re Irish, we’re not proud. We know you have to pay for sex and you have to pay to be at Manchester Airport too.

“They realise Liverpool has grown and that a lot of those customers should be using Manchester. They’re on the right track.

“We think these new routes will fill quickly, we think lots of customers from Liverpool will come to Manchester. That doesn’t mean a diminishment of services from Liverpool, but it will certainly mean growth for Manchester and Ryanair.

“We’d love to put an aircraft in Manchester but it’s about finding available slots.“We know Manchester and Liverpool compete. We’ll use that to leverage the lowest cost. We’re a one trick pony.”

On his rivals:
“Easyjet, Monarch and Jet2 all masquerade as low cost. They’re not, but we are.

“We’ve got a fixed price on fuel so there will be no surcharges over the summer, unlike the tour operators. It’s amazing what tour operators get away with.

“BA will whack their fuel surcharges up this year. They used to be the world’s favourite airline; now they’re not even Britain’s favourite airline. They’re in such a mess they even appointed a Paddy to run it. But he’s not as handsome or as charming as me.

On possible cross-Atlantic flights:
“Not for three or four years. Planes are too expensive at the moment. There’d need to be a big downturn in the long haul market. We’ve got enough planes to see us until 2013

On recession:
“Is there another one round the corner? We’re not free of the last one yet. But people don’t fly less in recession – they actually fly more. They just want to pay less.

On customer service:
“As soon as we can charge a customer for going for a wee, we will. The only think holding us back is getting the technology to swipe a credit card at the toilet door.

“I don’t want you clogging up my aisles going to the loo. I want to sell you stuff so we can keep fares down. Go before you get on the plane for god’s sake.

“I don’t want you checking luggage in. We’ve got to handle it and that costs money. You get 10kg and that should be enough. Just bring hand luggage.

“Use a PR firm? Why would I want to do that? They’ll tell you the customer is always right, which is bollocks. The customer is normally wrong.

“The ash cloud gave us a kicking, having to pay insurance claims. But it showed the rules and regulations to be bizarre. The airports were acting like bandits in their shops and the airlines were paying for it all.”

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saladdazeJanuary 27th 2011.

Did he mention Dr Freud's theory that boys who were bullied by their fathers often take it out on those weaker than themselves when they grow up?

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