herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

In his own words...

Have you ever flown business class?

"Not on a short-haul route for 15 years. I fly Ryanair everywhere across Europe, because we are always on time. I will not go economy class across the Atlantic. I want to have a kip on the way back because that way I can arrive here at 7 o'clock in the morning and go to work."

Has Christophe Mueller done a good job as Aer Lingus boss?

"Mueller does a decent enough job, within the confines of what he deals with. It is the same as Willie Walsh. When Mueller arrived he was given carte blanche to chop and change, to do what he wanted for about six to nine months. That has now stopped again. You could date it back to the cabin crew disputes of January last year, which was absolutely to take them on, and absolutely the right time to have a strike, have it in January. What happened? He got undermined by [ICTU's David] Begg who notionally sits on the board, comes up with a peace plan with Brendan McGinty from IBEC. They got no change from the cabin crew."

Would you meet Mueller for a pint?

"I have only ever met him once, when we formed an airlines group to meet with the DAA."

Who's your ideal passenger? "Anyone with a pulse and a credit card. We don't differentiate passengers between business class and common class, ordinary people or rich people. We have everybody on board. We have 75million passengers this year. So as long as they are alive and we have been paid up front, they are our ideal passenger."

Are you going to have a calendar featuring male staff? We want to see Michael O'Leary on the front.

"You don't. Nobody would buy it. Not a chance. It wouldn't sell. The Hunky Dorys calendar, why isn't it full of men? Because it wouldn't sell. Women's magazines, which you would think logically should be full of men, are full of women. Men's magazines are full of women, it kind of follows."

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