To many environmentalists, Michael O’Leary is one of their top hate figures. One of the key proponents of low cost air-travel, the multi-millionaire Irishman has no time for environmentalists – he calls them “eco-nuts” and dismisses concerns over climate change.
With his head firmly stuck in the sands of climate scepticism, he argues that the jury is still out on global warming.
He has dismissed those who argue that flying is a serious and growing source of global warming and that people should stop flying or at least make it more expensive. In contrast, instead of making flying more expensive, O’Leary plans to make it cheaper and cheaper.
Now he is going to infuriate his green critics even more by proposing a $13 flight to the US. He plans to form a new venture that will serve the key cities in the US including New York, Denver and Dallas.
Unlike every other business, O’Leary welcomes the recession saying it will be easier to buy aircraft from airlines that go bust. “We need a recession. We have had 10 years of growth. A recession gets rid of crappy loss-making airlines and it means we can buy aircraft more cheaply,” says O’Leary.
Whilst environmentalists will be up in arms concerning the flights, not everyone else is impressed. The Boston Globe noted dryly that “Do $13 airfares between Boston and London sound too good to be true? That’s because they are.”
Moreover if the recession is deep enough, not even Ryanair will be immune in the long-term…