THE EVER-QUOTABLE Michael O'Leary sounds like he is discovering his soft and fluffy side. There's a reason--he wants to attract loyal business customers.
Under the surface of this new-found focus lies the 20m airline customers in Europe who opt to fly with carriers on routes dominated by Ryanair. Getting those premium customers aboard Ryanair will mean changing some of the in-your-face antagonistic Ryanair policies to the more pleasant demeanour Southwest Air takes with its millions of passengers. I've flown with both and prefer the Southwest cattle cars to the brusque manner I have grown to expect with Ryanair.
Also emerging on the European front is Ryanair's willingness to open its firehose to Google's specialised search. This will threaten Skyscanner and other aggregators who purport to offer the best option for booking airline flights in Europe. If O'Leary's timeline is right, the Ryanair new look for booking flights will appear in front of customers before St Patrick's Day 2014. I'm eager to see the result.
I have an audio clip that cites some of O'Leary's memorable quotes and talks about these technical developments as well as our "app dependency" in the way we connect to our work and leisure.