A senior equity analyst at Merrion, said the Ryanair boss, who has built Ryanair into one of the largest airlines in the world, is at risk of losing his grip. The assessment comes at the end of an extraordinary three months as a self-inflicted crisis engulfed the airline.
Ryanair shares continued to slide which stripped about €2bn from its value in only two days. The airline is now valued at €17bn. In September, Ryanair admitted a failed pilots’ roster had led the airline to cancel more than 20,000 flights and forced it to offer pilots large bonuses of over €10,000 to keep many other planes flying. The bargaining power of the fledgling unions was boosted, and in the last few days, the airline was forced to concede recognition and negotiate for the first time with pilots’ unions. This is what Mr. Leary was blocking all these months. Once he has said in the past that hell would freeze over before he would recognise unions.
The analyst said he believes Mr O’Leary will face problems in maintaining the rapid pace of growth at the airline. He predicted Mr O’Leary would stay for 12-14 months to see how the airline evolves under unionisation.
All these odds are paving the way out for the Ryanair King.