Need I say Moores

O’Leary is still O’Leary

Since Ryanair launched its Always Getting Better initiative, Michael O’Leary has been biting his tongue but occasionally his colorful spirit still creeps through.

O’Leary was in London on Dec. 1 to announce legal action against online travel agent eDreams and Google. When asked whether Ryanair was guilty of similar misleading antics in the past, O’Leary responded with a flat no, but he was quick to acknowledge his own flaws.

“I’ve been doing ‘mea maxima culpa’ all year long,” he said, referring to the Latin phrase that acknowledges personal blame. In the past, O’Leary’s headline-grabbing comments and Ryanair’s strict adherence to its policies created a lot of negative feeling towards the airline, prompting the launch of the Always Getting Better program nearly two years ago.

The man tasked with selling the new Ryanair, chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs, sat up at the front of the press conference with O’Leary. Credit to him, Jacobs barely even winced as O’Leary reverted to form, making colorful comments about French air traffic control working practices, particularly on Saturdays.

O’Leary also admitted to being “mystified” by the popularity of the airline’s charity scratch cards and argued the point with one of the journalists over how the proceeds should be split.

Ryanair claims eDreams has triggered 2,000 complaints to Ryanair over the last two months. When asked whether O’Leary was concerned about reputational damage from eDreams, he replied: “My reputation is difficult to damage,” hinting that he’s already done most of the work on that one himself.

In a comment sent to ATW, eDreams said it disagreed strongly with the Ryanair allegations.

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