Love him or loathe him, there are few in the aviation industry who split opinion like the infamous and highly successful Ryanair chief, Michael O’Leary. We think it’s fair to say he is far from publicity shy. Here are a collection of top quotes from Michael O’Leary. . .

On Ryanair routes:

I don’t give a toss where people want to go. I’m in the business of creating a market for people to go where they have never heard of (2000)

On increased airport security checks:

You don’t see the government confiscating lipsticks and gel-filled bras on the London Underground. Most of them couldn’t identify a gel-filled bra if it jumped up and bit them (2006)

On pax standing:

They say Oh those standing may get killed if there’s a crash, Well, with respect, those sitting might get killed too (2009)

On low fares:

Germans will crawl bollock-naked over broken glass for them (1997)

On what would cause Ryanair to fail:

Nuclear war in Europe, a major accident, or believing our own bullshit (2002)

On travel agents:

Take the f**kers out and shoot them (2003)

On flying:

I am not a cloud bunny. I am not an aerosexual. I don’t like aeroplanes – An airplane is nothing more than a bus with wings on. I never wanted to be a pilot like those other goons who populate the air industry (2005)

On Climate Change:

Horseshit. Scientists argue there is global warming because they wouldn’t get half of the funding they get now if it turns out to be completely bogus.

On his motivation, post-university:

I would have murdered, I would have gone through concrete walls to make money (2000)

Recalling the time he ran a newsagent’s and opened it on Christmas Day selling batteries and chocolates at treble the usual price:

I have never had a sexual experience in my life like it (2000)

On BA’s decision to begin ‘Go’:

They must be smoking too much dope (1997)

Describing The United Nations:

One of the world’s most useless organisations (2010)


Overcharging rapists (2004)

On the best way to settle his differences with Aer Rianta:

With Semtex… preferably during a board meeting (2000)

Discussing his plans for a transatlantic Ryanair:

In economy no frills; in business class it’ll all be free – including the blowj**s (2008)

On being approached to front the BBC TV show “The Apprentice”:

“Too much of a distraction” (2009)

On his wedding day, asked if the bride would be late:

Yes, she’s flying Aer Lingus (2003)

On Environmental Issues:

If you’re concerned about the environment, stop driving.

On being a father:

I’m taking the Ryanair approach – subcontracting everything (2006)

On himself:

I’m probably just an obnoxious little bollocks. Who cares? (2006) / A gobshite (2007)

On the economy:

We would welcome a good, deep, bloody recession for 12 to 18 months. We need one if we are going to see off some of this environmental nonsense (2008) – [Ed :] well he got the recession, which saw off some of his competitors, not sure about any environmental issues though.

On his plans post Ryanair:

Making the world a better place… by taking a vow of silence (2006)

Talking about wheelchair users:

[we] kept getting people who just didn’t fancy the long walk to the plane and declared themselves to be in need of assistance. (2005)

On Airlines in Europe:

Europe has been ripped off by airlines for 50 years. (2007)

On the European Commission:

An evil empire, whose commissioners are morons (2005)