Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has blasted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling the beset politician “an idiot of the highest f*cking order” during an interview with The Telegraph.
The long-serving boss of Europe’s largest low-cost airline hit out at the British government and Johnson in particular after he was asked about the airline industry’s struggles in ramping up to meet a surge in travel demand after pandemic restrictions were lifted.
“The cabinet (government) has less f*cking brainpower than your average plant,” O’Leary slammed. “The Prime Minister is entirely untrustworthy – not just anything he says, but certainly on economic issues.”
When asked if he had ever met Johnson, he replied: “No, and I’ve no desire to meet him. He’s an idiot of the highest f*cking order.”
O’Leary has been particularly critical of the ruling Conservative government’s decision not to ease EU immigration rules in order to address a critical staffing shortfall that is hampering the ability of airlines to meet demand.
The often outspoken Ryanair chief executive says British people don’t want to do airline jobs like check-in and security and that European workers are needed to fill vacancies.
“I’m not re-campaigning on Brexit, but the UK is going to have to find a way to open up the Labour market between the UK and Europe, to get people in here to do the jobs which frankly British people don’t want to do,” O’Leary said.
“They don’t want to pick fruit, they don’t want to do agricultural labour, they don’t want to do hospitality or security or baggage handling at airports.”
Throughout continental Europe, however, Ryanair is facing its own labour strife. Cabin crew unions in Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and Belgium have all called strike action in a dispute over low wages and working conditions.
Ryanair insists that the industrial action is, so far, having little effect on its operations and that the vast majority of workers are happy with their pay and conditions.
Earlier this month, the director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) also took aim at Boris Johnson, calling the Prime Minister a “joke” in a stinging attack on the government pandemic response.
Willie Walsh, who was boss of the parent company of British Airways at the start of the pandemic, said the British government “should have done a hell of a lot better” over its handling of the pandemic.
Last December, Ryanair’s social media team mercilessly trolled Boris Johnson over the so-called ‘Partygate’ scandal calling travel restrictions that made it illegal for most people to go abroad a “pisstake”.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.