By John Ensor •
Updated: 07 Sep 2023 • 18:18
Ryanair Chief Michael O'Leary In Brussels.
The boss of budget airline Ryanair was the victim of a surprise attack today when he got hit by two cream pies.
On Thursday, September 7, in Brussels, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary was left stunned as Belgian environmental activists targeted him with two cream pies during a media briefing, writes Aviation Source News.
While discussing a petition related to European airspace protection during ATC strike actions – a topic Ryanair has passionately debated recently – O’Leary was interrupted. As he stood next to a cardboard cut-out of EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen, a female activist hurled a cream pie at him. As he dodged, she seized the chance to hit him again from behind.
The activists, in high spirits, exited the scene shouting, ‘Welcome to Belgium’ at the pie-covered Ryanair Michael O’Leary. An unruffled O’Leary quipped, ‘Unfortunately it was environmentalists and the cream was artificial. I invite passengers to come to Ireland where the cream is better!’
When news of the incident broke, Ryanair’s digital media team immediately bounced back with: ‘Warm welcome in Brussels today to celebrate RYR’s 7 new routes for Winter 23. Passengers so happy with our routes and petition that they’re celebrating with cake. We’ve got tasty low fares!’
Ryanair has been vocal about European overflight rights. A few months ago, on May 31, they submitted a petition with over 1.1 million signatures to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Titled ‘Protect Overflights: Keep EU Skies Open’, it represented passengers irked by the numerous disruptions due to Air Traffic Control strikes in European airspace.
Interestingly, as O’Leary pushes for overflight protection during European ATC strikes, Ryanair’s Belgium-based pilots are gearing up for more strikes.
Pilots stationed at Brussels-Charleroi Airport have declared a potential strike on September 14 and 15. This is planned to align with an airline shareholder Annual General Meeting in Dublin.
Should this strike proceed, it will mark the fourth such action by these pilots in under two months. These pilots are backed by the Belgian Cockpit Association, along with unions ACV Pulse and CNE.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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