Michael O'Leary

By O'Leary, Michael; Beith, Malcolm | Newsweek International, June 23, 2003 | Go to article overview

Michael O'Leary


O'Leary, Michael; Beith, Malcolm, Newsweek International


These are dismal times for the airline industry. In the past 18 months, fewer people have been flying because of terrorism fears, war in Iraq and SARS. All the world's major carriers are shedding staff by the thousands, and they expect more cuts throughout 2003. But one airline is standing head and shoulders above the rest: Ireland's Ryanair. The Europe-only short-haul carrier's profits rose 59 percent in the last fiscal year, and its customer base is continually growing. NEWSWEEK's Malcolm Beith spoke to Ryanair's charismatic CEO, 42-year-old Michael O'Leary, to find out the secret of his success and what he foresees for the airline industry. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: While the rest of the airline industry languishes, Ryanair is doing fantastically.

O'LEARY: [Laughs] Ah, we're probably doomed.

What's behind your success?

Fare-cutting is the principal factor. But we're also the No. 1 customer-service airline in Europe. We're No. 1 for on-time flights, No. 1 for fewest cancellations, No. 1 for fewest lost bags and No. 1 for fewest customer complaints. I always say that if it was only about lowest fares, Aeroflot would be the biggest airline in the world. It's about lowest fares and delivering what people want, which is [something] safe, on time, reliable... It's not s--ty wine and an inedible meal reheated for the fifth time that day.

By selling tickets through your Web site, you've cut out the middleman.

Four years ago we sold 60 percent of our sales through travel agents, who charged us about 9 percent of the ticket price. Then computerized reservations added about another 6 percent. So we were paying about 15 percent for distribution. Today, 96 percent of our sales are sold across Ryanair.com, and the cost is about a cent per ticket.

The last 18 months have been tough times for the airline industry. Will airlines pull through, and if so, how?

Some will survive. [But] these have not been the worst 18 months in the history of the airline business. The problem with the airline industry is that most of it is run by people who lose money hand over fist and then blame outside influences. They all throw their hands up in the air and say, "There's nothing we can do about costs."

There's always something you can do about costs. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Michael O'Leary
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.