• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Ryanair boss: Bad Danish press sells seats
Michael O'Leary at a press meeting in Copenhagen on 23 February 2016. Photo: Marie Hald/Scanpix

Ryanair boss: Bad Danish press sells seats

The Local · 24 Feb 2016, 10:30

Published: 24 Feb 2016 10:30 GMT+01:00

Ryanair’s failure to reach an agreement over employment conditions with Danish unions in 2015 led to strong criticism of the company by media, unions and politicians alike. Last week, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen came under fire for using the airline to travel to a winter break in Malaga.

But the company’s poor reputation has been great for business, claims O’Leary, who also denies any wrongdoing in the union spats.

“We believe we are right. And we think the Danish media is unfair and has treated us poorly. But that is their right, and Danish customers have voted with their feet,” O’Leary is quoted as saying by broadcaster DR.

Danish unions and politicians clashed with the self-styled low fares airline throughout 2015, accusing the company of social dumping and violating the Danish model of working conditions for employees. Ryanair countered by criticising union action as ‘secondary strikes,’ pointing out that none of its pilots or cabin crew were members of Danish unions. The feud eventually led to Ryanair withdrawing services from Copenhagen and Billund airports, albeit only briefly in the case of the latter.

“Some people don’t understand that bad press sells more seats than good,” said O’Leary, as quoted by DR. “The best thing that could have happened was the unions mouthing off about the Danish model and trying to stop us. Everyone knew us after that.”

O’Leary also claimed to be unconcerned by the effects of the union conflicts on Ryanair’s brand.

“We could easily agree that our brand and image are not very good, but our seats are 90 per cent full… Have we won or lost? I don’t care,” DR reports O’Leary as saying.

While cheering the success of his own company, O’Leary also criticised Scandinavian policymakers for not doing enough to encourage growth, citing potential new travel taxes in Sweden and Norway and calling for a "credible or a realistic growth scheme that will encourage not just Ryanair but all of the airlines – will encourage Norwegian, will encourage SAS to grow here."

"You've got good football teams and generally attractive ladies but other than that I don't wanna go here," he told journalists at a media briefing in Stockholm.

Story continues below…

 

 

 

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Danish politicians cleared on charge of housing migrants
Maria Sloth (right) and Anne Hegelund hug a supporter before their court appearance earlier this month. Photo: Axel Schutt/Scanpix

The women had been charged with violating immigration laws by giving two African men a place to stay for the night.

Top Danish tax official fired after scandals cost billions
Jesper Rønow Simonsen was at the helm as Skat was defrauded for billions and forced to scrap its debt collection system. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Scanpix

The director general of Skat has been removed from his job with immediate effect as the agency tries to clean up at least a 12 billion kroner mess.

Danish city’s proposed burqa ban fails
The politician who proposed the ban said he had heard from many concerned residents. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

A proposal to bar public workers from wearing burqas and niqabs was dropped after a deadlocked vote.

Denmark offers help to earthquake-hit Italy
A firefighter works in the night at a collapsed house following an earthquake in Amatrice, central Italy. Photo: STEFANO RELLANDINI/Scanpix

The Danish government is willing to assist Italy in the rescue and reconstruction process as the country attempts to recover from Wednesday's deadly earthquake.

21-year-old man arrested for Copenhagen car fires
At least 22 cars and three mopeds were burnt. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Scanpix

Amager resident arrested after more than 20 cars were torched over the weekend.

Denmark aims for ‘first smoke-free generation'
Photo: Kyrre Lien/Scanpix

The Danish government on Wednesday released the details of what it called a “historic" plan to combat cancer.

Denmark takes small step towards medicinal cannabis
A cannabis plant. Photo: Coleen Whitfield/Flickr

A trial programme gets the okay in southern Denmark.

Danish police chase clues in motorway ‘stone murder’ case
Police technicians look for clues on the overpass. Photo: Kim Rune/Scanpix

Local residents and businesses have offered to put up rewards for information.

Danish MPs to visit Australia's Nauru migrant camp
Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen said she'd use the trip as a fact-finding mission on Australia's "grotesque" system. Photo: MARIE HALD/Scanpix

One lawmaker vows to "ask some of the questions that the Australian government is preventing journalists from asking."

Danish MP: EU a bigger threat than Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Crimean officials last week in a hand-out photo from the Kremlin. Photo: Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Nikolsk/Scanpix

Danish People’s Party MP Marie Krarup is under fire for saying that the EU is “without a doubt” a bigger threat to Denmark than Russia.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Per capita, Denmark is Europe’s Olympic champ
Sport
Denmark is Europe’s Olympic (per capita) champion
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
National
Female jogger left 'near death' in Copenhagen attack
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
National
EU breathes down Denmark’s neck over bad air quality
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Business & Money
Foreigners fill more than half of all new jobs in Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Society
Why you should learn Danish (and how it will benefit you)
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Sport
Robbed in Rio: Danish Olympic team hit by thieves
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish jets have bombed Syria for the first time
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
National
Danish Muslim graveyard offers to bury French terrorist
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
National
Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Culture
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
2,213
jobs available