Ryanair pursues pay cuts for Aer Lingus directors

IRISH budget airline Ryanair kept up the pressure on arch rival Aer Lingus on Thursday with a campaign to extract large pay cuts from its chairman and non-executive directors.<br /><br />Ryanair, Aer Lingus&rsquo; biggest shareholder with a near 30 per cent stake, is proposing the former state carrier&rsquo;s chairman Colin Barrington receive &1119;35,000 (&pound;30,648) in pay this year compared with the &1119;175,000 he received in 2008.<br /><br />Ryanair also wants the remuneration of non-executive directors to be cut from &1119;45,000 to the 2006 level of &1119;17,500, it said in two resolutions detailed in an Aer Lingus statement.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s all the same bloody characters who are sitting here lecturing the rest of the world on the need for cost cuts and efficiency when they have their snouts firmly in the directors&rsquo; fees trough,&rdquo; said Ryanair chief executive Michael O&rsquo;Leary. &ldquo;These people have presided over a collapse in Aer Lingus&rsquo; share price and a collapse in Aer Lingus&rsquo; profits.&rdquo;<br /><br />The airline added in a statement that a third resolution seeking that resignation bonuses require shareholder approval was rejected by Aer Lingus while the other resolutions may be put to the group&rsquo;s annual meeting on 5 June.