Richard North, 05/10/2005  

"Ryanair boss blasts compensation", proclaims the headline in the Telegraph business section today, both in the print and on-line edition.

But the strap, appearing only in the print edition, is much more fun: "We should shoot EU regulators and the airlines might be able to prosper," says Michael O’Leary.

O'Leary, is of course talking about the EU's "denied boarding" regulations, about which we have written many times.

O'Leary, we are told, has lashed out after a French air traffic control strike forced the airline to cancel 16 flights. Mr O'Leary said passengers unable to fly from London's Stansted to destinations in France would not get any compensation, but were entitled to refunds or alternative flights. "It highlights again the incompetence of the Brussels compensation regime," he said. "Air traffic control can walk out any time they like and no one gets compensation."

He contrasted this situation with the "denied boarding" rules. These hit low-fare carriers the hardest because compensation is based on mileage, rather than ticket price, with passengers entitled to claim €250 (£170) for flights under 1,500km.

Mr O'Leary said the "numbnuts" ruling was typical of Brussels, confusing the passengers over where they were entitled to compensation and exposing the airlines to complaints and lawsuits. "I think we should blow the place up and shoot all the regulators and the airline business might actually prosper," O'Leary said. He might like one of these (above).

Anyway, what joy! When you listen to the Tory Party leadership candidates prancing round the issues, avoiding saying something that might be inflammatory, how refreshing it is that someone is actually prepared to speak their mind.

O'Leary for Tory Party leader, I say! Unless, of course, the plods pick him up for "glorifying terrorism".


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