O'Leary relishes rivals' demise

ryanair.jpgRyanair boss Michael O’Leary has never been scared to ruffle a few feathers among competitors and he’s at it again.This time he’s claimed rising oil prices are good for Europe’s biggest budget airline because it’ll force most of its rivals out of business!After reporting a 17% rise in pre tax profits to £347.2m, O’Leary warned fares would rise by 5% this year and even if oil stays at $130 a barrel he still only expects Ryanair to break even.It’s merely a short term inconvenience for O’Leary, however.“In the medium term, it will be good for us. Oil at $130 a barrel will force some competitors to consolidate or go bust.“The tragic demises of EOS and Silverjet will be followed by more bankruptcies this winter. I hope prices stay high as it will get rid of a load of crappy competitors. British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, easyJet and Ryanair will be all right, everyone else is at risk of going bust.“SkyEurope will definitely go bust, Clickair in Spain, everyone is losing horrendous sums.”It’s hard what to make of O’Leary. In equal measure his comments are often unpalatable, arrogant and unnecessary while at the same time refreshingly frank, accurate and profit driven.What's more, are his frequent outbursts PR disasters or genius spin? His latest comments have certainly deflected attention from the fact Ryanair has made 60 staff redundant, issued a pay freeze and plans to ground a tenth of its fleet this winter to reduce costs.Image: Flickr

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