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As O'Leary rejects wedding parties..

Ryanair CEO blasts May and says bosses are ‘underpaid’

Michael O’Leary: ‘not a killjoy’


Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has taken issue with Prime Minister Theresa May’s crackdown on company bosses’ pay – and said the airline no longer wants stag and hen parties on its flights.

Mr O’Leary, who earned nearly £3m last year, told a media briefing that Mrs May’s concerns over pay are “overdone” when a CEO’s pay is compared to an English Premiership footballer.

The Prime Minister’s planned crackdown on executive salaries, first unveiled soon after she took office, came amid a number of shareholder revolts. Her plans include more power for shareholders over executive remuneration.

But Mr O’Leary said: “I think company bosses are remarkably badly paid. If you can have Wayne Rooney getting £300,000 a week and Alexis Sanchez on £400,000, I’m seriously underpaid. I don’t score as many goals but I employ a lot more people and make a much bigger contribution to the UK economy.”

In an interview in Scotland on Sunday as part of a media briefing in London, the Ryanair boss turned to the company’s campaign for a strict limit on how many alcoholic drinks passengers could have in airport bars before boarding their flight.

This follows a number of high profile incidents including passengers being asked to leave planes because of unruly behaviour. In one case a party of women on a hen trip were clapped off the plane by other angry passengers.

Mr O’Leary said he was “not a killjoy”, but as airports were responsible for safety they should “also be responsible for sobriety”.

He added: “We are left dealing with problems in the air.”

Ryanair wants a limit of two alcoholic drinks per passenger before boarding and a total ban on drinking alcohol at airports before 10am.

Mr O’Leary said that some passengers “sit around in bars getting progressively more and more drunk. We have to deal with the discomfort to our other passengers. People should not be drinking ten or 12 drinks. We don’t need stag or hen parties.”

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