Down with low-cost Ryanair at all costs
Ryanairdontcare Campaign have been sent this great article below that we should all see...
Ryanair: Secrets from the Cockpit...8pm Monday 12th August... UK DISPATCHES Channel 4...
What do Michael O’Leary [the CEO of Ryanair] and Scrooge McDuck have in common? Both are multi-millionaires. How can you tell them apart? McDuck built his fortune by being a miser, Michael O’Leary built his by helping other people to be misers.Even though Michael O’Leary has declared that he wants to people to fly standing up in his planes and make them pay to use toilets on board, today, Ryanair is Europe’s leading airline in terms of the number of passengers, with 80 million travellers per year. It is also, in spite of slight decline in the most recent quarter, a particularly profitable company.
For the the last fiscal year (2012-2013), Ryanair posted sales of €4.9bn with profits that increased to more than 11 per cent, or €569m. Figures that can usefully be compared with those reported by Lufthansa, for example, which announced more than 3 per cent profits for the fiscal year of 2012, or €990 million for a net €30bn in sales. As it stands, Lufthansa must fly six times more passengers than Ryanair to make less than double the return earned by its competitor. In other words, two euros invested in Ryanair is worth more than six euros in Lufthansa.
Ryanair is now the normWhy is this the case? “Lowest cost always wins”, said Michael O’Leary at a press conference in Gothenburg last autumn. This constituent doctrine of global capitalism is founded on the idea that, in what is now a worldwide market, price will always win over quality. And to be cheaper than the competition, you have to have lower costs.
Michael O’Leary is also a perfect reflection of his era for another reason: he seems to be custom made for a media world that is fond of charismatic and tweetable villains. He is constantly drumming up a buzz, and likes to pose with bikini-clad ladies.
Ryanair is neither a young miracle or a black sheep, or an exception that confirms the rule. Ryanair is, or is in the process of becoming, the norm; one of the most striking illustrations of a vast paradigm shift.
The European social model of my childhood days, in which the labour market and economic life were characterised by consultation, a balance of power and the distribution of wealth, is fading fast. The 20th Century has definitively been and gone. In its stead, we have been offered a ticket back to the 19th Century: cut-throat capitalism, the rejection of trade unions, wage dumping, and the exploitation of workers. And Ryanair is leading the way.
I have never taken a Ryanair flight. And I never will, not under any circumstance. Not only because I prefer to travel like a civilised human being, but also because, as a liberal, I believe that I should try, as best I can, to assume political and moral responsibility for my actions as and to quite simply exercise my power as a consumer.
Advance of the Neanderthal economy
I imagine that an equally large number are quick to boycott artists who do not respect women or put forward racist opinions. And yet, they travel on Ryanair – an airline that is not only disgraceful, but one whose very existence has obliged decent companies to adapt to what is termed "an exceptionally competitive situation," in other words to become brutal in their turn, or to throw in the towel.
It is difficult to see how someone who describes themselves as “left wing” can queue up a Ryanair check-in desk without blushing. In recent history, no other company has, both directly and indirectly – through the influence exerted by its example – contributed to the undermining of social tenets that the “left” claims to defend, and which constitute the foundation on which the prosperous societies of post-war Western Europe were built: job security, decent wages, solidarity between employees and their companies etc…
Why have intellectuals not raised the question more often? Why has the case of Ryanair not been examined by an in-depth debate? Why has the contemporary Swedish left so little to say about the economy and the violence of certain coercive relationships it entangles itself with?
In more concrete terms, why is it that Lilla Hjärtat [a character in children’s literature who is considered to be racist] and the vowels used in personal pronouns [it has been proposed that the feminine "hon" and the masculine "han" be replaced by the neuter pronoun "hen"] are much more burning issues in Sweden than Michael O’Leary and the advance of the neanderthal economy?