The CEO of Europe’s largest low-fare airline is pushing a new money-saving scheme: selling discounted tickets for a standing-room only cabin, the Telegraph reports.
“If you say to passengers it’s £25 for the seat and £1 for the standing cabin, I guarantee we will sell the standing cabin first,” CEO Michael O’Leary said. “No question.”
Known for his Irish charm, O’Leary is continually on the prowl to cut costs in every way possible. In the past, Ryanair announced schemes to cut costs in places including reducing cabin toilets and charging users, a “fat tax” for overweight customers, and a penalty for printing boarding passes.
“The problem with aviation is that for 50 years it’s been populated by people who think it’s this wondrous sexual experience; that it’s like James Bond and wonderful and we’ll all be flying first class when really it’s just a bloody bus with wings,” O’Leary mused.
However, the Civil Aviation Authority has news for O’Leary: his plan is illegal.
“It’s aviation law that people have to have a seatbelt on for take-off and landing,” said a CAA spokesperson, “so they would have to sit in a seat.”
“I don’t know how Mr. O’Leary would get around that one,” the spokesperson told the Daily Express newspaper. “Unless people were strapped to the side of the plane while standing up, it’s incredibly unlikely to happen.”
A spokesperson for the European Aviation Safety Agency also commented on O’Leary’s brilliant cost-cutting proposal. Irish Central reported that EASA’s rules “would basically have to be thrown out and rewritten” to accommodate O’Leary’s frugality.
“We’re always looking for new ways of doing things,” O’Leary stated. “It’s the authorities who won’t allow us to do them.”
“This idea is unprecedented and unlikely to be certified in the near future,” the EASA spokesperson said.
It was his eye for creative cost-cutting that won him Fortune’s title of European Business Man of the Year in 2001.
At the end of the day, O’Leary doesn’t let the opinion of European aviation lawmakers get in the way of his creativity.
“They are all a bunch of plonkers.”