Friday 8 March 2019 10:08 am

Michael O’Leary hopes to ‘reboot’ Ryanair reputation by stepping back from airline’s daily running

Ryanair chief executive, Michael O'Leary, has blamed his reputation for becoming a negative distraction for the airline and claims it is part of the reason he will step back from the company's day-to-day running.

"I think one of the negatives of Ryanair is its association with me, I'm an easy person to target," O'Leady told the Financial Times. "Too much of the negativity that attracts itself to Ryanair attaches itself because of something stupid I said 25 years ago."

O'Leary has been embroiled in controversy on a number of occasions for everything from refusing to recognise unions to awarding himself multiple million pound bonuses. 

He will take on new role this year as the head of Ryanair Holdings, which incorporates the main Ryanair carrier as well as Laudamotion (Austria), Ryanair Sun (Poland) and Ryanair UK.

He will take charge of all key decisions regarding acquisitions and mergers but he will no longer be at the front of day-to-day affairs. 

The 50-year-old said it would be a chance for the company "to reboot" its reputation after a disappointing pre-tax loss of €22m in the three months to December 2018, as opposed to the €113m profit on the year before. 

"What we need to do for the next year, certainly throughout 2019 is shut up and deliver," he said, "whereas in the past we might have spent too much time talking about it and not enough time delivering it."

Revenue for the quarter increased by nine per cent to €1.53bn and the company reaffirmed January's profit warning that it would be in the range of €1bn to €1.1bn for the full year.