He arrived in Brussels to carry out his protest, but Michael O’Leary – CEO of Ryanair – was greeted with pancakes in his face. Arriving in front of the European Commission, the Irish airline’s CEO was preparing for a small parade com. flashmob, complete with hardcover by Ursula von der Leyen. His plans are ruined by two climate activists, who smear cake in O’Leary’s face and shout: “Welcome to Belgium, now stop polluting your damn planes”. Belgian TV immediately retweeted the images, while Ryanair’s official Twitter-X profile sarcastically commented on the episode: “Warm welcome in Brussels today. “Passengers are so happy with our tracks and our wides that they’re celebrating with a cake,” read the tweet, which was accompanied by a cream-smeared photo of O’Leary. The CEO of Ryanair was in front of the European Commission headquarters in Berlaymont to protest the repeated strikes of air traffic controllers in France, demanding decent wages and more favorable working conditions.
– Aska News (@askanews_ita) September 7, 2023
O’Leary has repeatedly appealed to Ursula von der Leyen to ask her to intervene against the airspace closure, which since the start of 2023 has forced her airline to cancel more than 4,000 flights. In support of this fight, Ryanair has also launched a campaign petitionWhich – according to what the company quoted – reached 1.8 million signatures. The dispute between the Elysée and the European Commission is not the only conflict in which O’Leary has been involved. In Italy, Ryanair protested vehemently against the government’s decision to impose a cap on air links with the islands, even going so far as to cut off some routes to Sardinia. The rows with governments are exacerbated by union battles of Ryanair employees, who have called several strikes in recent months. The main reason is the 20% wage cut that began in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, despite the Irish company returning to profit last year with a net profit of €1.43 billion.
Image credits: EPA/Olivier Huslet | Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair, gets pierced in the face by some activists in front of the European Commission headquarters, in Brussels (7 September 2023)
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