Irish Examiner view: O’Leary takes a pop at ‘idiot’ Brexiteers

But millions of customers will pay more heed to the Ryanair boss's declaration that the era of the €10 flight is probably over
Irish Examiner view: O’Leary takes a pop at ‘idiot’ Brexiteers

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said Brexit was partly to blame for the shortage of airport workers — which will resonate  with passengers who have experienced the chaos in many UK airports. File picture

Michael O’Leary has never been never backward about coming forward, and while his declaration this week that the era of the €10 flight is probably over came as little surprise, his pointing the finger at Brexiteers for the chaos at British airports this summer was typically controversial.

He cited rising fuel prices and the cost-of-living crisis as the reason for the death of the bargain-basement flight but, O’Leary being O’Leary, he could not resist having a pop at British prime minister Boris Johnson and his cabal of “other ambitious idiots” for creating the conditions that have left the UK in a labour crunch since leaving the EU.

His statement that, had there been more honesty “or any honesty” within Johnson’s government, they would admit that Brexit had been a disaster for the free movement of labour and had made the issue one of the real challenges faced by the UK economy.

And his assertion that Brexit was partly to blame for the shortage of airport workers will have resonated with the many travellers who have experienced the chaos in many UK airports this summer, experiencing long queues, cancelled flights, and misplaced luggage as a result of staff shortages.

What will have struck a chord with even more people is O’Leary’s signalling that the day of the cheap flight is over, particularly those whose ability to fly abroad will now be curtailed because there will no longer be flights available for anything from 99c to €9.99.

With oil prices spiralling “as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”, the Ryanair boss predicted that punters can expect to pay between €40 and €50 for flights that were costing fractions of that less than a year ago. 

Typically, however, he could not resist a pop at the British establishment and the aforementioned “ambitious idiots” responsible for Brexit.

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