IF Ryanair were a TV cartoon it might be called The Little Airline That Could.
But there is nothing little about the first EU airline to carry more than one billion passengers, although its boss, Michael O’Leary, occasionally cuts a cartoonish figure as part of his public persona.
From its small beginnings in 1985 with turboprop plane flying between Waterford and Gatwick airport in London, Ryanair has grown to be Europe’s largest carrier and one of the biggest in the world.
It has also changed aviation internationally by giving customers what they really want: low fares, a wide choice of destinations and a reliable and safe service.
Despite its size, it has also remained flexible, willing to change radically its hitherto take-it-or-leave-it approach to customer service or, as O’Leary so memorably put it, by “not pissing people off unnecessarily”.
Ryanair’s success is a proud achievement not only for the company and its staff but for The Little Country That Could.
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