Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is not happy over coronavirus coverage, savaging what he calls the “lunacy” and “hysteria” of social media pandemonium.
O’Leary has never been one to hold back words and was very blunt in an interview with Sky News. He views much of the initial reaction to the virus as “irrational panic measures” and condemns social media for exaggerating the problem, not fixing it:
“We would hope to see some of the hysteria taken out of the coverage of the COVID-19 virus outbreak that we’ve seen over the last week, more accurate government… and WHO [World Health Organization] information being communicated and help us to fend off some of the frankly lunacy communicated on social media.”
Ryanair has experienced up to 50% no-show rates for its Italian flights and responded by trimming its services to Northern Italy, a COVID-19 epicenter, by 25%. More cuts are on the horizon as fears over travel mount.
O’Leary is still hoping that the virus will soon be under control and recede as the Northern Hemisphere approaches the warmer spring and summer months.
“I’m reasonably optimistic it will be reasonably short-lived – remember we’re coming into the spring-summer period in Europe. That itself will help to limit the spread of a flu-like virus.”
I’ve witnessed some of the “hysteria” and “lunacy” myself. Just yesterday a reader wrote me claiming that if I was stupid enough to fly and contracted COVID-19, I’d be dead within 12 hours. There’s a lot of misinformation out there…do check your sources before giving into unnecessary fear.
There is fear and anxiety about the disease. But that’s in no small measure due to the ham-fisted ‘management’ by WHO…reports on route/ease of transmission are contradictory, confusing, conflicting, depending on the source within WHO ( from ‘we’ve never seen a virus so easily transmissible from person to person’ to the complete opposite). Then they have the gall to bemoan the level of anxiety, in the manner of “ the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. Clueless, bordering on cretinous , communication by WHO, the chief offender being the shoe-shining boot licker in charge.
As for O’Leary: what we he care if this disease decimates aged care facilities around the world, and disproportionately kills those in certain age groups? It’s not the Ryanair demographic after all. Repulsive man.
Covid-19 is nothing to laugh at. 1% die. Great that it’s not too high. However, the regular flu (influenza A) has a 10 times lower death rate of 0.1%. The common cold is far lower than influenza A. If you’re old, the death rate is as high as 5%. Ok, not 100% or 80% but 1-5% is not fun.
O’Liary is just making sure he remains in the news, heaven forbid that anything overshadow him and his horrible airline.
I’m sure Branson will have something to say in the next couple of days too as both children must have their attention and publicity.
To continue to profit from what has been termed a sizable risk by many governments and health organizations is disgusting. Ryan Air offer no refund as well as charge to change booking, for a flight on 9th March to Milan Bergamo and back 5 days later. Our trip to Lombardy is no longer feasible or worthy yet Ryan Air state operations as normal for date of flights.
O’Leary and Ryanair are typical examples lof those profiteering during moments of despair. Their policy is sickening to the extend that they dont mind contributing to more infected cases so long as they are ‘operational’.
Will never ever fly Ryanair any longer.