Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Ryanair, Declan Collier and the DAA (Dublin Airport Authority)

Bloody and unbowed after its recent courtroom scrap with Rosanna Davison and Daddy de Burgh on the "r-word" issue, it's hard to see Ryanair changing its publicity seeking ways.

There are lots of things I dislike about Ryanair - wanton rudeness and punitive baggage charges being two  - but I lived through a time when Aer Lingus was Ireland's only carrier, and it was bloody awful.  Crabby, snooty flight crew, with a huge unhealthy dollop of Official Ireland "dia duit" blarney thrown in.   And incredibly expensive with it.  Ryanair did make air travel affordable in Ireland, and cut out a lot of the... well... shite.  

The company's press releases are usually amusing too - and O'Leary is a natural performer who I find entertaining despite myself.  Sometimes I even feel like sending him a few bob for a new shirt.

Mince. Words.  Ryanair.   Never in the same sentence.  Here's an example from a recent press release (Thanks to Conor for sending this one in).  

You can't help feel they have a point here, albeit one they are making for their own reasons.

Ryanair Calls on DAA “Fat Cat” Boss Declan Collier to Resign From AIB Board

Ryanair, Ireland’s favourite airline [ "favourite"?   Are you sure? GM ] , called on ‘fat cat’ DAA boss Declan Collier to resign from his position as a Public Interest Director on the AIB Board following revelations that the previous CEO of AIB resigned with a €3m pay off.

Ryanair believes that fat cat semi state bosses like Declan Collier, are not appropriate or effective public interest representatives, when last year he was paid over €560,000 by the DAA, including a bonus of €51,000 in a year when the DAA reported losses of €13m, recorded a third straight year of traffic decline and hiked its airport fees by some 40% to pay for the €1.2bn T2 white elephant.

Ryanair believes that Mr Collier, who earns over €40,000 p.a. in fees and expenses as an AIB Director (in addition to his €560k from the DAA), is in no position to represent the public interest, or monitor bank Chief Executive pay and bonuses, when he is an overpaid, fat cat, semi state boss, running a loss making, traffic collapsing semi state company.

A Ryanair spokesman said:

“How can “Fat Cat” Declan Collier question any bank CEO pay or bonuses, when his own pay and bonuses are so completely out of line given that he runs a semi-state airport company, which is losing traffic and money and where the budget for T2 expanded more than fivefold from an original figure of between €170m to €200m, to a final bill of €1.2bn.

“Since he has presided over three years of traffic declines and has reported a loss in the DAA’s last published accounts, it is hard to understand what value Mr Collier brings to the Board of AIB for his €40,000 p.a. in payments or how he is qualified to represent the public interest. Ryanair fully endorses Shane Ross’s calls yesterday for Mr Collier and the other Public Interest Directors on the Board of AIB to resign.”

Beat around the bush, why don't you, Michael? 

But isn't it debatable too, what value one of the architects of Ireland's economic collapse, Charlie McCreevy (appointed 2010), brings to the board of Ryanair? 

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Anonymous said...

Hi GM, you ask what value Charlie brings to the Ryan Air board? Well as an ex Commissioner I'm betting he knows exactly how the Commission works and to whom one needs to lobby and/or speak to. Ryan Air chose carefully when inviting him to be a board member.

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes Anon. But an ex-commissioner known throughout the EU for being incomprehensible and for saying "you'd have to be mad to read the Lisbon Treaty"?

Dakota said...

Ryan Air have a point but it's just that A POINT, as you mention GM the corruption runs deeper. Nobody in this cesspool is worth more than 100,000e. Ireland is Albania not the UK or U.S.

The Gombeen Man said...

I suppose the only positive thing is that it's cheaper and easier to get out of the dump than it used to be, D. ;-)