Ryanair's Michael O'Leary on the environment, agencies and the recession: 10 outrageous quotes

Michael O'Leary: Ryanair boss u-turns environment policy
Michael O'Leary: Ryanair boss u-turns environment policy

The Ryanair chief executive is a brand in his own right: at best, he calls a spade a spade, at worst he is the post-PC scourge of the airline industry and its authorities. O'Leary may be embracing green issues now, but this hasn't always been his stance, as the quotes here show.

On the recession and the environment

"We would welcome a good, deep, bloody recession for 12- to 18-months [to stop governments from introducing green taxes]. We need one if we are going to see off some of this environmental nonsense that has become so popular among the chattering classes." [from February 2008]

"We need a recession. We have had 10 years of growth. A recession gets rid of crappy loss-making airlines and it means we can buy aircraft more cheaply." [November 2008] 

"The best thing we can do with environmentalists is shoot them. These headbangers want to make air travel the preserve of the rich. They are Luddites marching us back to the 18th century." [November 2005]

"The problem with the airline business is it is mostly run by a bunch of spinless nincompoops who actually don't want to stand up to the environmentalists and call them the lying wankers that they are."

On easyJet’s brand and chief executive

"[Ex-Guardian boss Carolyn McCall is] some old media luvvie. I'm looking forward to meeting her at some conference in Tora Bora when I've retired." [October 2010]

[On Stelios landing a large fee for use of the easyJet brand name] "It's fantastic. £10m a year for a crappy brand like easyJet. Luckily Mr Ryan [Ryanair founder Tony Ryan] isn't alive. If he'd asked for £10m just for the name, I'd tell you what I'd do: I'd ------- change the name." [October 2010]

 On ad agencies

"Every idiot who gets fired in the industry shows up as a consultant somewhere. Shoot consultants and advertising agency specialists." [October 2005]

On customers

"People say the customer is always right, but you know what - they're not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so."

On increased security checks at airports

"You don't see the government confiscating lipsticks and gel-filled bras on the London Underground. Most of them couldn't identify a gel-filled bra if it jumped up and bit them."[2006]

 On Ryanair’s plans for a transatlantic service

"In economy, no frills, in business class it'll all be free - including the blowjobs." [2008]

Sources: telegraph.co.uk, allgreatquotes.com, 'Plane Speaking: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael O'Leary' by Paul Kilduff


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Ex-Thomas Cook marketer Mike Hoban resurfaces at Morrisons
Barbour creates real-time illustrations of consumers' stories for summer campaign
Viral review: Samsung goes for Apple’s jugular but fails to connect
View from Brazil: why we didn't believe we could lose the World Cup
Heineken unveils ‘Open Your City’ drive with Metro for ‘men of the world’
Unilever continues portfolio 'reshaping' with Slim-Fast sale
Amazon to fight US authorities over in-app purchase claims
Google set to invest $100m in Europe's tech start-ups
Metcalfe's set to release quirky debut TV ad
Samsung pities the iPhone 'wall huggers'
Smirnoff campaign aims to make Formula One less elitist
Apple wins EU battle to register store layout as trademark
Marketing directors need to step outside 'marketing box' to earn seat on the board
Hottest virals: Burger King’s emotional gay pride Whopper ad, plus Apple and Guinness
Developer creates software enabling Google Glass mind-control
Kick-ass girl beats up shopping centre staff in music video
Top 10 ads of the week: Aldi's World Cup cider ad scores with consumers
Sony relives Germany's 7-1 victory against Brazil in Subbuteo Vine
Burberry credits 9% revenue hike on strong online sales and 'more targeted marketing'
Ritz returns to UK TV screens after 30-year hiatus
Mars creates chief health and wellbeing officer role
Brands make the most of Germany's dramatic victory over Brazil
Adios Justin King! Watch our video tribute as he leaves Sainsbury's after a decade
Nike calls time on 13-year Manchester United kit deal
Three TV ad banned over misleading 'free' call claims
GNM boss David Pemsel: 'The Guardian has got its mojo back'
M&S has missed a massive opportunity to put digital strategy at its heart
Google partners with the Barbican to show coders are artists
Samaritans encourages men to talk about issues with #DownNotOut campaign
Lego's partnership with Shell 'not awesome', according to Greenpeace viral