I never fly Ryanair, after many years ago they cancelled a flight on me the day before we were due to go, costing me a fortune to have to re-book the day before flying....an experience now being felt by a very wide number of people indeed.
So, it is a company I have always viewed as a parasite, but one which at least is a good capitalist business in that it appeals to a market keen on low prices above any service levels. And what a market it has cornered, long now the largest European airline by passenger numbers and value.
But this last two weeks, its mis-steps have caught up with it, a big mistake with holidays is being exploited by its pilots and now it is cancelling tens of thousands of flights for months in advance.
However if you look at the shareprice...not much has changed, it pretty much follows the pattern of its rivals with a maybe 8% dip overall this month. Today the price has started recovering a bit. The shareprice is still substantially above where it was at the start of the year.
I see this as an opportunity, investors are relaxed at its bullet-proof business model - but surely the intangible brand damage is huge. Where possible, people will think twice in the future about flying with Ryanair, I know I did! Also today the CAA has gotten involved, belatedly, as the PR mess gets out of control.
These kind of affairs rarely end well for a business, long-term Ryanair has a superior business model with its ruthless cost focus, but brand damage and perhaps a need to change its model to keep pilots a bit happier are going to cause problems - an 8% odd shareprice hit