It has been quite a day for Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary as he was pied in the face by climate activists while visiting Brussels.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary Pied Outside European Commission
On Thursday, Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary made a visit to the European Commission in Brussels where he was preparing to hold a press conference.
As he was heading to the press conference, he was suddenly approached by two climate activists outside the building, and one of them said: “Welcome to Belgium, stop the pollution of the f*@*** planes.” Then the other came and threw a pie on his face. You can see the whole incident in the video below:
O’Leary, looked helpless when he was caught off guard as he was about to talk to reporters in Brussels. However, O’Leary seemed to find the funny side to it all and told the media. After getting pied, he said: “Well done, I love cream cakes, they’re my favorite!” “I have never had such a warm welcome.”
He also added: “Unfortunately it was environmentalists and the cream was artificial. I invite passengers to come to Ireland where the cream is better!” What an amazing response!
The situation was then highlighted by Ryanair’s amazing social media team.
Ryanair Social Media Team’s Amazing Response to the Situation
Ryanair’s social media team is known for its amazing sense of humor. After the incident, its social media team posted a couple of posts on X, joking that passengers are so happy with Ryanair that they’re “Celebrating RYR’s 7 new routes for Winter 23,” and “Instead of buying cream pies, could have bought a flight from Belgium for the same price.”
What was Ryanair’s CEO Doing at the European Commission in Brussels?
So what was Ryanair CEO doing at the European Commission and what was his petition about? O’Leary was trying to submit a petition with 1.5 million signatures by petitioners, demanding that flights be allowed to cross French airspace during air traffic control strikes.
O’Leary is entangled in a long battle with air traffic controllers and pilots, whose strikes have been “leading to disproportionate numbers of flight cancellations, inconveniencing passengers and costing Ryanair substantial sums in compensation.”
The air traffic petition describes:
“So far in 2023, French ATC (Air Traffic Control) strikes have forced Ryanair to cancel over 4000 flights mainly overflying France.
It is unacceptable that France uses Min Service Legislation to protect French flights during these repeated ATC strikes, while overflights, none of which are operating to/from France, suffer all these cancellations. This is unfair. The EU must act now to protect overflights and the EU Single Market.
Ryanair has repeatedly called on the EU Commission and Ursula von der Leyen to take action to protect EU passengers and overflights during repeated French ATC strikes. Ryanair calls on all passengers to sign our petition.
Do it today and send an urgent message to Ursula von der Leyen that EU citizens demand action to protect overflights during French ATC strikes.”
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary was hit in the face with a pie by environmental protesters on Friday while visiting the European Commission to present the petition. However, instead of being angered, his situational handling was priceless. And this was also complemented by Ryanair’s amazing social media team.