NEWS Michael O’Leary Eyeing A Ryanair Exit?

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Speaking in a press event in Dublin yesterday, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary stated that there is a “50-50” chance that he will retire as Ryanair CEO in 2019 when his 5 year contract expires. He insisted that he doesn’t plan to be hanging on until he’s 75 and said there is succession planning at Ryanair.

“I’ll only stay if the board wants me to stay. I’m not wedded to this place that I want to stay here until I’m 75,” he said as the airline launched the latest phase of its so-called ‘Always Getting Better’ plan. One of the challenges for me here in Ryanair, is to step down…and have the next generation of management coming in. It’s easy to be the guy who’s been here for 20 years or 25 years. The acid test of a really good company like Tesco, Lidl and Aldi has been where to get the next management group to come through. I think that’s something that’s a challenge facing me and the rest of the management team here over the next five years.”

It will be interesting to see who will be the successor of the Irish LCC in 2019 and it will be interesting to see how the new successor copes with the new Runway that Dublin Airport is to build. O’Leary also said at the press statement that a meeting with the DAA also took place. He said that the airport expansion was to cost 320 million EUR, more than 70 million EUR than was forecasted initially. 

“We support the need for a second runway at Dublin Airport,” said Mr O’Leary, but not the higher cost that the DAA announced last week, he added. “I can’t understand how without turning a sod it’s suddenly gone up by €70m,” he said. Mr O’Leary also said. He also said that they will not be paying for a new control tower at the airport as well. It will be interesting also to see what O’Leary manages to negotiate in terms of paying for the expansion. Will they have to do a similar thing where BA will have to fork out money for the LHR expansion or will Ryanair be able to negotiate a deal which will benefit the airline but the airport as well?