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.