Ryanair dead set on growing
David O’Brien told hacks that the airline has been “talking to Charles de Gaulle”
David O Brien: was referring to the Paris airport named after de Gaulle, not the general himself. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES
It appears that Ryanair will stop at nothing to give it an edge over its rivals, even channelling dead presidents.
Chief commercial officer David O’Brien told the assembled hacks at its results briefing this week that the airline has been “talking to Charles de Gaulle”.
The statement immediately set us wondering how you address a dead French military man: stand to attention, salute, or does a simple bonjour suffice?
We’ll never know as it turns out that O’Brien was referring to the Paris airport named after de Gaulle, not the general himself.
Nevertheless, the news was surprising, as, along with Heathrow and Frankfurt Main, the Paris hub is one of an unholy trinity of European airports with which Ryanair has said it will never do business.
Yet it has executed quite a few U-turns recently in its quest to boost its image and bring in new customers, including doing deals with travel agents, who had been on its “never again” list for years.
So, is there another in the offing and is Ryanair going to do a deal with the French airport? “There is no U-turn that we won’t execute in the interests of our customers,” O’Brien told us.
“Mon dieu!” as Charles de Gaulle, the general, not the airport, might say.