Ryanair CEO Michael O"™Leary made his first appearance at a World Travel & Tourism Council Global (WTTC) Summit here, and lived up to his reputation for speaking his mind, without regard for business niceties or political correctness.
Some quotes from a panel he was on:
"¢ On growth of tourism in Europe: "Growth is going to be stellar, but that"™s because we"™re competing against a lot of pretty incompetent providers. But any sense of optimism should be heavily tempered by what kind of stupidity will be visited on us by the European Commission and politicians. … If it"™s anything as bad as the last five years, it will be spectacularly incompetent."
"¢ On French air traffic controllers striking: "If this conference was held last week, nobody would be able to get here because the French buggered off on strike again and shut most of the skies over Europe. We issue a press release every time the French air traffic controllers go on strike calling on the European Commission to remove the right to strike from French air traffic controllers, and it is a bit like advocating pedophilia. [Adopting a hysterical voice] "You can"™t prevent the French from striking!" Well, they don"™t allow the French military to go on strike. Mind you, no one would notice anyway."
"¢ On a former E.C. president who preceded O"™Leary on stage: "You have Jose Manuel Barroso, who thankfully I didn"™t have a chance to listen to today, because I"™m sure it would have been irrelevant anyway. He sat there for 10 years and did nothing for tourism, absolutely nothing. Except taxes."
“If this conference was held last week, nobody would be able to get here because the French buggered off on strike again.” "”
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary
"¢ At one point, Stephen Sackur, a BBC presenter who interviewed O"™Leary, told him, "I met [Barroso] earlier, and I said, "˜I hope you"™re going to stay for the panel discussion, because we"™ve got Michael O"™Leary on the panel."™ And he said, "˜I hope he understands just how much the European Commission did for airlines like his "¦"
(O"™Leary interrupted with a Bronx cheer.)
Sackur continued: ""¦ opening up the airline industry across Europe, getting rid of protectionism in countries like Germany."
O"™Leary: "You have to ask Manuel Barroso why is it consumers in Europe pay a tax, this bloody, useless emissions trading scheme. Nobody else "” Americans visit Europe, Chinese visit Europe, Turks visit Europe "” they all told Europe to piss off”…