The head of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ireland has questioned the reasons for Ryanair not inviting business reporters to attend its annual general meeting (AGM) next week.
In a brief statement, Ryanair said it was telling “all relevant financial media that at its AGM next week, there will be no press invited or admitted to the meeting and no press briefing afterwards”.
The company said: “We wish to allow shareholders to discuss all matters freely with the board without these discussions being distorted for PR purposes.”
The NUJ’s Irish secretary Séamus Dooley said it was “highly unusual” and “regrettable” for Ryanair to have made the move not to invite financial media to the September 20 meeting.
“The company has effectively used PR down the years,” Mr Dooley said. “Many shareholders are unable to be present at the AGM as it is”, and national and international shareholders rely on the media’s coverage of company meetings to be kept informed, he said.
In the last 18 months, the airline has gone through a turbulent periods in its history. It has faced unprecedented action by pilots, which led to it accepting trade unions across Europe for the first time.
Strikes and other disruption over its most profitable quarters have hit operations. Its shares, which fell 2.4% yesterday, have now dropped over 26% in the past year.
However, with a stock market value of just over €15bn, it remains one of the most valuable airlines in the world. IAG, the British Airways and Aer Lingus owner, is valued at around €14.9bn after its shares climbed 16.5% in the past year.