Ryanair CEO Contracts Foot-in-Mouth Disease


Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, most recently criticized for claiming he would charge customers to use toilets on Ryanair flights, is today’s swine flu FAIL award winner (the awards series, so far, holds promise). The UK’s Times Online reports:

The outspoken head of the Irish budget airline Ryanair has dismissed apocalyptic warnings of a global swine flu pandemic, saying that the virus was only a risk to Asians and Mexicans “living in slums”.

Michael O’Leary, who pioneered the 1p fares which transformed European aviation, told a press conference that he did not think the virus that is thought to have killed around 150 people in Mexico would wipe out his firm’s business this summer despite UN warnings of a pandemic.

“Are we going to die from swine flu? No. Are we in danger of SARS? No. Foot and mouth disease? No. Will it affect people flying short-haul flights around Europe this summer? Thankfully, no,” Mr O’Leary said.

He added: “It is a tragedy only for people living … in slums in Asia or Mexico. But will the honeymoon couple from Edinburgh die? No. A couple of Strepsils will do the job.”

A good spokesperson would also “do the job” for Mr. O’Leary.

Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.