IT’S DEJA VU all over again in the business world. Stop us if you’ve heard this before:
Michael O’Leary had a cut off Aer Lingus, the Government, and the bumbling bureaucracy that frustrates his every move. The IFSC was sniffing around for scraps at the table of international finance. Newspaper sales continued to decline.
That said, the devil is in the detail, so read on to find out just what happened this week.
Need to know
Ryanair steps up its campaign
Michael O’Leary was in flying form in front of assorted hacks in Dublin this week, where he announced new routes to Brussels. The Westmeath man is explicitly going after the Aer Lingus dominated route, claiming that he wants to win over 60% of the (primarily business) traffic to Brussels’ main airport.
Analysts endorsed the O’Leary strategy, although David Holohan from Merrion Capital pointed out that the airline could be a bit late to the party, with other budget carriers having moved into business travel first.
Either way, O’Leary wasn’t pulling his punches in a lively press conference. Unfortunately, we can’t always accommodate his liveliest quotes in the news, so here’s a selection that didn’t make the cut:
On his attempts to buy Aer Lingus:
We made a couple of attempts to buy a small Irish regional airline…but they’d prefer to get smaller.
On the Aer Lingus pension dispute:
It is a scandal that would only take place in a Government-controlled, failing airline…you have Brother (ICTU General Secretary David) Begg sitting on the board like the dead hand of the trade union…they threaten the occasional strike and the Government and the bureaucrats at the Department of Transport fall over themselves to make concessions.
On Albert Reynolds
We were certainly very proud of him and history will be very kind to him. In a short period he achieved a lot…setting Ireland on course for a relatively rapid period of economic growth.
…and on Bertie Ahern
If you could have visionary, dynamic and bold leadership like Albert Reynolds, or the 10 years of dither and fudge and buying off the public sector and other stakeholders like Bertie Ahern…people would have him back in a flash
Get off the fence, Michael.
And while he was here, he even found time to take the ice bucket challenge
Our daily Brexit
Time was when Irish affairs were more frequent feature in the hallowed pages of the Financial Times – first positive, then overwhelmingly negative.
Despite the relative becalming of our economy at the moment, the pink paper still found space for a hefty report painting Dublin as the bogey-man of the international financial sector headquartered in London.
If the UK were to become a little bit less united through Scottish independence, and a little bit more isolated from Europe, several anonymous financial executives told the FT that they’d be upping sticks and moving to our Fair City.
We understand that there have indeed been overtures from officials to London players in the IFSC here, although sources cautioned that nothing was imminent and said that there is some way to go before we should expect to see the Goldman Sachs of this world on the Liffeyside.
Nice to know
- Every newspaper in Ireland saw dips in circulation in the year to the end of June
- We don’t know who to believe – one minute we have the highest quality of life in the world, the next Dublin is seen as something of a dump compared to our international brethren
- There may be privacy concerns over Facebook Messenger, but it hasn’t stopped us downloading it in our droves…
- Some heartening news from the SME sector this week, as a Clare sign specialist landed a big investment from a US heavyweight, and a secret millionaire came to the aid of a Mayo TV start-up
- But it’s not all sweetness and like for the segment, with new research from the Central Bank showing many are still burdened by boomtime property debts
- Bank of Scotland wants to confiscate Sean Dunne’s Shrewsbury Road mansion from the former billionaire. It’s a long way from sights like this for all pictured.
- And there was more pressure on the Government to ease off on austerity this week, this time from Goodbody Stockbrokers and economists at Investec.
Now you know
- A former investor in Sunderland had his hotel sold from under him by Nama
- Google’s driveless cars will be allowed to speed (but only safely)
- Carlsburg is writing down its profit expectations thanks to turmoil in Eastern Europe
- Beef farmers have descended on Tesco to send a message that their policies on Irish cattle are unfair
- Heineken is the number one beer in Ireland – and its sales mirror the economy apparently.
One for the road
This ship, operated by the Maersk cargo company, has set a new record for the most containers ever carried on a vessel. Impressive.