21 October 2006

Go for it O'Leary! Let Ryanair buy Aer Lingus

I am not a huge fan of Michael O'Leary personally. I don’t know the chap and cannot pretend to understand the way a mild mannered accountant turned into the PR monster that he seems to have become. But the haughty voices should pipe down.

I do think the Irish Government and the Labor unions should just put up or shut up about letting Ryanair takeover the Irish national airline. It is high time the airlines and government interests were severed. But the government of the Republic of Ireland cannot have its cake and eat it too. Let the market decide. So if the unions and the government want a cozy deal then write the law accordingly and take the wrath of Brussels and the Iron Lady Neelie Kroes. Since that is not going to happen either Dermot Manion better find a white knight and soon or embrace the best chance Ireland has of having a seat at the big boys table.

I firmly believed that Ryanair would be the last airline to adopt the HVC - Hybrid Value Carrier model. The outstanding job of making an airline consistently profitable via the LCC model has been pursued with relentless passion by O'Leary and Co. But the opportunity in front of them with the potential acquisition of EI makes perfect sense. If this is truly going to be Michael's swansong before he kicks himself upstairs then more power to him. I believe it will be great for the industry and great for the traveling public. Well OK so the customer service will suck but what do you expect for 99 cents.

Let's stop the whining and see real change and value come to the market.



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