Sunday 18 February 2018

The big Ryanair rebel has met his match in the airline's own pilots

The crisis at the budget airline suggests that the business model which Michael O'Leary championed has now run its course, writes Eilis O'Hanlon

Michael O'Leary: This could mark the moment when the business model which the Ryanair boss championed will be seen to have reached the limits of its usefulness.
Michael O'Leary: This could mark the moment when the business model which the Ryanair boss championed will be seen to have reached the limits of its usefulness.

Eilis O'Hanlon

What happens when an immovable object meets an irresistible force? The ongoing crisis at Ryanair may be about to finally solve that age-old riddle.

Michael O'Leary has always fancied himself as the arch rebel. He's the interloper who shook up the airline industry and stood up defiantly to the establishment. Now he's facing a counter rebellion from pilots every bit as dogged and determined as he is. The maverick may have met his match at last.

It's not only about who will win, but how different Ryanair will be afterwards. How different, specifically, will Michael O'Leary look? How much of a chastened and diminished figure might he be once this battle is over?

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