Die Zeit on 18.07.2013 Author: Claas TatjePages: 19 and 20Section: BusinessCategory: weekly paper Year: 2013 Number: 30Edition: 627,430 (printed) 519,573 (sold)543,041 (distributed)Range: 1.70 (in million)
The main thing is it’s cheap
The success of the airline Ryanair is based on efficiency andexploitation. But now the business model is at risk
The man who gave Europe’s jet setters the cheap flight himself is happiest when he isat home on a farm with his four children. He got a taxi licence to get home quicker inthe evening –this allows him to drive in the bus lane, saving him 20 minutes on the100 km trip from Dublin airport to his palace-like estate Gigginstown. Ryanair bossMichael O’Leary enjoys rural bliss. Not only do the 8000 plus employees of Ryanairlead much less luxurious lives, some days life at Ryanair can be Hell on Earth.Take 4
July, for instance. At 12 o’clock two dozen pilots meet in Weeze on the LowerRhein. Their employer has called a staff meeting. The invitation came with 24 hours’notice by intranet. According to those at the meeting the manager dispatched fromDublin came straight to the point: Ryanair was planning to operate with 40 fewerpilots in the winter at the site. This left the employees with threeoptions: unpaidleave, part time work or change sites. Anyone who had not decided within a week would be fired or made redundant. There were no memos or other documents on thematter. The news was to be spread by word of mouth. Ryanair confirms that there was a staff meeting, but provides no details.
O’Leary used to be the tax advisor for the founder of the airline, Tony Ryan
Ryanair is not facing a crisis –quite the opposite, in fact. In the business year to theend of March the company earned more than any other European airline. The profitafter tax was 569 million Euros, with turnover standing at some 5 billion. Theshareholders were to receive one billion euros –in the form of dividends and share buybacks. It seems as if only the other airlines were fighting for their future.Lufthansa or Air France, for instance, which have to save billions. And in Paris, of allplaces, Ryanair ordered 175 new Boeing aircraft. While Air Berlin’s passenger listsare shrinking,Ryanair plans to transport some ninemillion passengers in Germany in 2013, 80million throughout Europe, more than any other airline, and all this with stablegrowth figures of three percent. O’Leary has sat at the helm of Ryanair for 20 years.