Despite his company relying heavily on holiday passengers to fill its flights across Europe, O’Leary told business magazine, Management Today, ‘Holidays are a complete waste of time. I do it because I have a wife and four children who insist that I have to go away every year otherwise they will be traumatised. I try to explain to them they’ll be more traumatised having me there for two weeks.’
Mr O’Leary, who is on record as having said that he is the most underpaid and under appreciated airline boss, also took the opportunity to lament his pay in comparison to other bosses in the industry, saying, ‘I’m paid about twenty times more than the average employee and I think that gap should be wider. I probably work 50 times harder. I was paid €1.2million [£960,000] last year for carrying 80 million passengers. Aer Lingus’s boss [Christoph Mueller] got €1.3million [£1million] for carrying nine million passengers.’
Commenting on the on-going debate over a third runway at Heathrow Airport, the Ryanair boss said, ‘We need to build runways at existing airports to cope with increasing demand. But by the time we’ve gone through planning enquiries and public objections, I expect I’ll be dead when Heathrow gets its third runway.’
O’Leary also confirmed that Ryanair would be bidding again for its rival, Aer Lingus, having had a first bid turned down earlier this year.