Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary says Boris Johnson Thames Estuary airport is 'insane'

News Shopper: An artist's impression of the airport An artist's impression of the airport

RYANAIR boss Michael O'Leary has dismissed the Thames Estuary airport idea, backed by Boris Johnson, as "insane, stupid and hare-brained".

The budget airline chief made the stinging attack during evidence to the House of Commons transport select committee, warning his language about the proposals could be "unsuitable" for Parliament.

When the subject of the hub, dubbed 'Boris Island' because of the Mayor of London's support, was raised by MPs Mr O'Leary told the committee: "Such a scheme is insane, stupid and hare-brained.

"To try to come up with a new green-field site plan with no infrastructure and no motorway or rail links and which would take the rest of my life to build is insanely and asininely stupid."

A design by architect Lord Norman Foster for a £50bn new Thames hub, including a massive new airport on the Isle of Grain with capacity for 150 million passengers annually, was released last year.

But Mr O'Leary, famed for his forthright opinions, told MPs he backed new runways at London's existing airports instead, claiming the government was simply "kicking the aviation strategy can further down the road" with the formation of an independent commission to examine expansion.

The latest criticism comes just after Prime Minister David Cameron rebuked the Mayor of London over his increasing calls for the airport to be built.

But Mr Johnson repeated his advocacy for the plan again this week, telling the annual CBI business conference that only the Thames Estuary airport would enable the UK to increase growth and boost jobs in the south east.

Comments (5)

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3:12pm Fri 23 Nov 12

j.j. says...

It's not a surprise that O'Leary says this. It's obviously not in his company's interest for London to get a proper hub airport because his budget airline wouldn't use it. The new airport would be great for his competitors because they could offer connecting flights from pretty much anywhere on the planet to anywhere else through a modern and comfortable airport. But O'Leary wants them to be stuck with the dirty old pile of portacabins and makeshift tunnels with a limited number of take-off slots, also known as Heathrow.
It's not a surprise that O'Leary says this. It's obviously not in his company's interest for London to get a proper hub airport because his budget airline wouldn't use it. The new airport would be great for his competitors because they could offer connecting flights from pretty much anywhere on the planet to anywhere else through a modern and comfortable airport. But O'Leary wants them to be stuck with the dirty old pile of portacabins and makeshift tunnels with a limited number of take-off slots, also known as Heathrow. j.j.

5:18pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Outandabout says...

j.j. wrote:
It's not a surprise that O'Leary says this. It's obviously not in his company's interest for London to get a proper hub airport because his budget airline wouldn't use it. The new airport would be great for his competitors because they could offer connecting flights from pretty much anywhere on the planet to anywhere else through a modern and comfortable airport. But O'Leary wants them to be stuck with the dirty old pile of portacabins and makeshift tunnels with a limited number of take-off slots, also known as Heathrow.
Exactly, well said. The man who is looking into 'standing room only' on his flights or pay per pee toilets. Ive no idea whether a third runway at Heathrow or expanding Stanstead is better or even another runway at Gatwick. There are too many business interests not providing accurate information for an informed decision to be made. Either way O'Leary should not be listened to.
[quote][p][bold]j.j.[/bold] wrote: It's not a surprise that O'Leary says this. It's obviously not in his company's interest for London to get a proper hub airport because his budget airline wouldn't use it. The new airport would be great for his competitors because they could offer connecting flights from pretty much anywhere on the planet to anywhere else through a modern and comfortable airport. But O'Leary wants them to be stuck with the dirty old pile of portacabins and makeshift tunnels with a limited number of take-off slots, also known as Heathrow.[/p][/quote]Exactly, well said. The man who is looking into 'standing room only' on his flights or pay per pee toilets. Ive no idea whether a third runway at Heathrow or expanding Stanstead is better or even another runway at Gatwick. There are too many business interests not providing accurate information for an informed decision to be made. Either way O'Leary should not be listened to. Outandabout

2:32pm Sat 24 Nov 12

rarecockneyguvnor says...

Outandabout your net worth is ?

Michael O'Learys net worth is ?

I think he's at least worth listening too.
Outandabout your net worth is ? Michael O'Learys net worth is ? I think he's at least worth listening too. rarecockneyguvnor

2:03pm Sun 25 Nov 12

j.j. says...

rarecockneyguvnor wrote:
Outandabout your net worth is ?

Michael O'Learys net worth is ?

I think he's at least worth listening too.
Michael O'Leary is the CEO of an Irish airline and his job is to maximise the value of his company and profits for his shareholders. He should not have any say in UK aviation strategy despite being very rich. The Transport Select committee are a bunch of fools to have consulted him.
[quote][p][bold]rarecockneyguvnor[/bold] wrote: Outandabout your net worth is ? Michael O'Learys net worth is ? I think he's at least worth listening too.[/p][/quote]Michael O'Leary is the CEO of an Irish airline and his job is to maximise the value of his company and profits for his shareholders. He should not have any say in UK aviation strategy despite being very rich. The Transport Select committee are a bunch of fools to have consulted him. j.j.

6:39pm Sun 25 Nov 12

Gypo.Joe says...

j.j. wrote:
rarecockneyguvnor wrote:
Outandabout your net worth is ?

Michael O'Learys net worth is ?

I think he's at least worth listening too.
Michael O'Leary is the CEO of an Irish airline and his job is to maximise the value of his company and profits for his shareholders. He should not have any say in UK aviation strategy despite being very rich. The Transport Select committee are a bunch of fools to have consulted him.
Thanks JJ for the information on O' Leary. Like we didn't already know.

Being a very successful business man in the airline industry I think we should hear at the very least his opinion. Same goes for Sir Richard Branson, and others.

Now if any note is taken of their opinion is another matter. We should listen to all side though... ???
[quote][p][bold]j.j.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]rarecockneyguvnor[/bold] wrote: Outandabout your net worth is ? Michael O'Learys net worth is ? I think he's at least worth listening too.[/p][/quote]Michael O'Leary is the CEO of an Irish airline and his job is to maximise the value of his company and profits for his shareholders. He should not have any say in UK aviation strategy despite being very rich. The Transport Select committee are a bunch of fools to have consulted him.[/p][/quote]Thanks JJ for the information on O' Leary. Like we didn't already know. Being a very successful business man in the airline industry I think we should hear at the very least his opinion. Same goes for Sir Richard Branson, and others. Now if any note is taken of their opinion is another matter. We should listen to all side though... ??? Gypo.Joe

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