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Flying high: Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary received €975,000 in wages and bonuses

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Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary took a 74pc hit to his combined basic pay and bonus during the pandemic-hit 2020-21. He received no bonus with basic pay at €250,000. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary took a 74pc hit to his combined basic pay and bonus during the pandemic-hit 2020-21. He received no bonus with basic pay at €250,000. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary took a 74pc hit to his combined basic pay and bonus during the pandemic-hit 2020-21. He received no bonus with basic pay at €250,000. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has seen his Covid-era voluntary pay cut restored as he received €975,000 in wages and bonuses, according to the low-cost airline’s latest annual report.

The outspoken Ryanair boss took a 74pc hit to his combined basic pay and bonus during the pandemic-hit 2020-21. He received no bonus with basic pay at €250,000.

Now, the airline’s 2022 annual report reveals that Mr O’Leary’s pay returned to pre-pandemic levels in the 12 months to the end of March of this year after the airline restored bonuses to its CEO with a €475,000 payout.

At the outset of the pandemic in 2020, Mr O’Leary had volunteered to forego half of his base pay of €500,000.

The annual report shows Mr O’Leary’s basic pay was restored to its pre-Covid in the 12 months to the end of March 2022.

The combined basic pay and bonus of €975,000 last year compared to combined pay and bonus payments of €958,000 in the 12 months to the end of March 2020.

In total, Mr O’Leary’s overall pay package for fiscal 2022 amounted to €2.76m and the report states that the 2022 pay package includes a €1.78m non-cash, technical accounting charge for 10 million unvested share options granted under Mr O’Leary’s new five-year contract in February 2019.

The report states that up to half of Mr O’Leary’s bonus related to a passenger traffic target of 100 million and, as actual traffic was 97.1 million, Mr O’Leary received a bonus of €225,000 for traffic growth.

The remaining €250,000 in bonus payments were granted for customer service and environmental targets laid down by the airline’s remuneration committee.

Ryanair revenues increased almost threefold to €4.8bn and the airline’s pre-tax losses more than halved from €1.1bn to €430m in the 12 months to the end of March this year.

Ryanair’s Irish revenues increased almost threefold from €81m to €229.6m.

Mr O’Leary said Ryanair had increased its market share in Ireland significantly “and has based a record 33 aircraft in Dublin for summer 2022, to support the Irish Government’s visionary Covid recovery incentive scheme”.

Ryanair last year received €82m in various European Covid-19 payroll schemes after the airline received €84m under that heading in fiscal 2021. Overall numbers employed totalled 19,116.

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