Michael O’Leary was on the DCU Glasnevin campus on Friday 25th November to speak to staff and students of the Aviation Leadership Masters.
The Ryanair CEO gave a presentation on aviation, discussed a number of topics and welcomed many questions from the 150 attendees.
He warned that Brexit would be disruptive for the Irish economy, especially for aviation with weaker sterling, lower airfares and lower economic growth. He said that it would disrupt UK airlines more than Ryanair as the former would have to choose between being an EU or a British airline.
In response to student’s questions, O’Leary said he sees the airline industry in Europe becoming more competitive in the future, with Ryanair extending its cost advantage over its rivals. He argued that a low-cost transatlantic service would depend on availability of suitable and affordable aircraft, which are not available in current circumstances.
He also gave free Ryanair tickets to the students who asked the best and the worst question, and to the student who made the most complimentary remarks about his appearance.
This talk is one of a number of guest lectures being carried out as part of the Aviation master’s degree. The first presentation was given one month ago by the Chief Executive of the daa, Kevin Toland. Future speakers will include CEOs of international and Irish airlines, finance and leasing companies, as well as senior public servants and policy makers.
The Aviation Masters degree was launched in 2015 and is the only qualification of its kind in Ireland. There are currently 100 students undertaking the course.
The master’s degree aims to combine knowledge from the main sectors in aviation – including airlines, airports, and air traffic control – with an education in strategic management.
The degree is taught by the academic staff of DCU Business School along with experienced aviation managers, including from Dublin airport, Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Emirates, the Air Corps, and the Irish Aviation Authority. The Programme Director is the former Commissioner for Aviation Regulation in Ireland.