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Archive for the ‘Aer Lingus and Aviation’ Category

Government should buy Ryanair stake in Aer Lingus

If I was a shareholder, I would take Willie Walsh’s arm off to accept his €2.55 bid for my stake in Aer Lingus – but as an Irishman, I would send him packing.

Don’t Worry, Michael, Her Majesty will Forgive You.

Has Michael O’Leary gone native? He was certainly out of tune with the native mood last week.
Natives of Ireland were utterly dismayed at his tasteless joke about sex and the Queen on Monday. His crude gag, aimed at ingratiating himself with an expectant audience at the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly “went down like a lead balloon”, according to chairman, Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh.

Iceman Cometh to Terminal 2

‘SO you can charge what you like then?” I asked the little monopolist.

“That’s the way it is,” he responded smugly.

“And you can open when you like?” I queried.

“That’s the way it is too,” he riposted triumphantly.

Every businessman’s dream.

Mary: Muddled or Muzzled?

AER Lingus still rules OK? Last Wednesday a basement in the bowels of Leinster House resembled a padded cell for the insane. Michael O’Leary has turned the lunatics in the aviation asylum on their heads.

A man who was shedding no less than 1,100 jobs at the airport descended to the dungeon to confront a man who was promising 300 in the same place. The Oireachtas Transport Committee was hosting the row between O’Leary and Mary Coughlan’s allies in Dublin Airport and Aer Lingus.

Wednesday morning’s news had revealed that Christoph Mueller — of Aer Lingus and Germany — was threatening to make 1,100 employees compulsorily redundant.

On the same day Michael O’Leary — of Mullingar and Ryanair — entered the arena promising 300 jobs.


Mary and the Little Tramp

MICHAEL O’LEARY is offering Mary Coughlan a simple deal. Give me Hangar 6 and I’ll give you 300 jobs.

More chillingly put: no hangar no jobs.

That is the way he does business. Three arms of the State have joined forces to block him.

While Michael is parading himself on the airwaves, they have despatched their armies of spin doctors to undermine him. None has the neck to confront him head on, so they are whispering behind his back. They are muttering that O’Leary is a showman. Which he is. That he is exploiting the airwaves to promote his cause. Which he is. That he is making mischief. Nobody does it better. And more wickedly, that he is not genuine about his jobs offer. Which he is.

Aer Lingus Reaches For A Star

HAS the board of Aer Lingus gone walkabout?

The wobbly old airline, just out of the warm womb of public ownership, carrying baggage galore, has betrayed its semi-state ancestors. Burdened by a bombed-out share price, struggling with soaring fuel costs and rooted in a crumbling island economy, Aer Lingus faces a grim future. Worst of all, its steadfast chairman, John Sharman, is perched in the departure lounge, quitting at a time of crisis for the airline industry.


O’Leary’s Sixty Grand Bruni Bargain

Michael O’Leary has had a wonderful week. He lost €30m personally; Ryanair bombed by half a billion in value; profits tanked by 27 per cent; earnings per share dropped by 24 per cent. Even better, O’Leary issued a shock profit warning: the worst was yet to come.

Best of all, the President of France defeated him in a bizarre court case.


None Of Your Business, Prime Minister.

Omerta everywhere. Omerta between the feisty blonde bombshell, the Lady Appleby of Ireland‘s civil servants, Julie O’Neill and Transport Minister Noel Dempsey. Omerta between Sir Humphrey Appleby himself, Dermot McCarthy and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

Omerta between the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and its downtown Shannon office.

In every instance, one party knew that Aer Lingus was poised to desert Shannon for Belfast. In every instance the party with the knowledge failed to deliver it to the correct destination. Happily, on Thursday, Lady Appleby-O’Neill gave herself a clean bill of health. Her report on her own activities blamed no one. Nice work.

What is going on?


Civil Servants Should Not Filter Information To Protect Ministers

The Aer Lingus affair was debated in the Seanad again yesterday. I argued that what Aer Lingus does is not the business of politicians; it is out in the private sector. However, the Byzantine manoeuvres of civil servants, supposedly to protect their Ministers, does concern us. When the Seanad debated the issue in the past two weeks, we were doing it in the dark because we had incomplete information.

If civil servants are filtering sensitive information to Ministers to protect us, that is seriously disturbing. Equally disturbing is the DAA’s failure to keep its principal shareholder informed of its plans. This is what I told the Seanad: (more…)

Government Reaping Whirlwind Of Its Own Fudge Over Aer Lingus Decision

On Wednesday, statements were made in the Seanad on the Aer Lingus controversy. I told the House that the government was in difficulty over the issue because of its decision to fudge the privatisation of Aer Lingus by keeping a large stake in the company. Thus, it would, we were told, still be under effective state control. The vested interests were kept happy, and this non-privatisation fudge would ensure decisions, like the one taken last week, would never happen.

This was the false impression that the government deliberatley gave at the time. Now they do not know if they have influence or control! Fortunately for them though, they can still use Aer Lingus to reward its party political patsies. Here’s what I told the House: