Thursday 18 January 2018

O'Leary wants Hangar 6 to become his new HQ

Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary. Photo: Bloomberg News
Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary. Photo: Bloomberg News

John Mulligan

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary plans to move the company's headquarters to Hangar 6 in Dublin Airport in the highly unlikely event he gains control of the facility.

He denied yesterday, however, that this was the sole reason for originally seeking the premises last year.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Mr O'Leary also claimed that if it wasn't for Ireland's low corporate tax rate he would now consider moving the airline's headquarters out of the country.

Despite significant controversy a number of years ago regarding significant rent breaks received from Aer Rianta and subsequently the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) for its current HQ, Mr O'Leary yesterday said that the rent breaks were a means to allow the money spent constructing the building to be recouped.

A company called Darley Investments, which was originally wholly controlled by a trust fund established for the benefit of Tony Ryan's sons -- Cathal, Declan and Shane -- and their offspring, built the current Ryanair HQ at the airport using an estimated £2.5m (€3.2m) loan from the airline



The site on which the HQ is located, not far from the main entrance to the airport, was leased by Darley Investments from the Department of Transport through Aer Rianta for 30 years at a cost of £192,000 (€244,000) a year.

That site rent was not payable at all for the first 12 years, while just 50pc was payable for the next six years until 2008. Mr O'Leary said Ryanair was now paying the full yearly rent of €244,000 to the DAA.

He maintained that ownership of the building was transferred to the airport authority from the time it was first occupied, and that the rent deal allowed Ryanair to claw back the construction costs.

But sets of Ryanair's own accounts note that the airline rented the HQ from Darley Investments for £200,000 (€254,000) a year from 1992 until mid-1996, when Darley Investments was still controlled by the Ryan family trust.

Darley became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ryanair in 1996.

As far back as 1999, the building was being carried on Ryanair's balance sheet as a fixed asset with a net book value of £958,000 (€1.2m).

Mr O'Leary also said yesterday that if a new hangar without attached office space was constructed for its use at Dublin Airport, the airline would not want to occupy it.

Irish Independent

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