"Ryanair's biggest achievement? Bringing low fares to Europe and still lowering 'em. Biggest failure? Hiring me."
Ryanair's CEO does not have a censor button when he speaks to the media, but this claim from last year, it seems, has rung true.
Michael O'Leary, well-known as the face of budget airline Ryanair for the past 20 years, has decided to remove himself from the public eye -- costumes, outrageous comments and all -- in 2014, after admitting that his antics are now impacting the budget airline's growth, and he was "getting in the way."
O'Leary will step back from press events in 2014 as the airline tries to entice more families and business travelers into the fold. Years of insults, swearing and cost-cutting ideas including charging passengers over $50 for printing a boarding pass appears to have taken its toll.
In short, the 52 year-old believes the way to ensure the firm's growth in the future is to "stop unnecessarily pissing people off."
In a recent interview with Newsnight, the chief executive said that in the end, his sexist comments and attitude to customers became a "caricature," with people branding him "cheap and nasty."
Not the best avenue for a company that wants to entice families and a higher-paying class of client.
In order to revamp the image, not only will the CEO be taking a step back, but the Irish airline has also cut penalties for missing boarding cards and relaxed baggage rules to appear more customer friendly.
Some of the Ryanair CEO's most amusing quotes to date are below.
1. "Anyone who thinks Ryanair flights are some sort of bastion of sanctity where you can contemplate your navel is wrong. We already bombard you with as many in-flight announcements and trolleys as we can. Anyone who looks like sleeping, we wake them up to sell them things."
2. "If drink sales are falling off, we get the pilots to engineer a bit of turbulence. That usually spikes sales."
3. "I'm here with Howard Millar and Michael Cawley, our two deputy chief executives. But they're presently making love in the gentleman's toilets, such is their excitement at today's results."
4. "The airline industry is full of bullshitters, liars and drunks. We excel at all three in Ireland."
5. "In economy, no frills. In business class, it'll all be free -- including the blow jobs."
Image credit: Ryanair