THE former Ryanair chairman has landed a peach of a role advising on the set-up of Japan's new low-cost airline.
Patrick Murphy actually started his aviation career at Aer Lingus, becoming head of strategic development in the mid-Eighties. He left in 1987 to sit on the boards of several transport companies, including Irish Ferries, Aer Turas and tech firms Datalex and Allied Management Systems.
Meanwhile, a certain loss-making Irish airline was reinventing itself with a brand new business model. Having written off millions, Ryanair was fighting back, with new management, new jets and deals with outlying British airports. Murphy became chairman in 1992 of Europe's first discount carrier.
He moved on three years later and now works as a consultant with clients including LAN, Air Zimbabwe, Gulf Air, Felix Airways and All Nippon Airways (ANA). He has also worked for the airline industry's giant representative group, IATA, on its tariff negotiation strategies.
ANA hired Murphy to advise its Peach Aviation venture, a new budget carrier in North Asia. It plans to fly out of Osaka in 2012.
Murphy lives in Geneva, beside a golf course where he indulges his favourite passion, but he also retains a home in Ireland. He follows rugby and hopes to see Ireland play in the World Cup later this year.
As if channelling Michael O'Leary, his recent presentation at an industry conference was titled: 'There's no loyalty and no customer experience -- it's all about price.'
"Airline loyalty programmes as we know them are doomed as customers look for value," he predicted. "Business travellers are now switching to low-cost airlines with more reasonable airfares."
Sunday Indo Business