Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary defends the airline's 'Jab and Go' ad 2 months ago

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary defends the airline's 'Jab and Go' ad

He said it was "the perfect antidote" to RTÉ and NPHET's "daily doses of pessimism".

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary has defended the airline's 'Jab and Go' advert, claiming that there is nothing insensitive or wrong about it.

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Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland on Monday morning, O'Leary said that the tone of the ad is "completely fine", and that it acts as "the perfect antidote" to RTÉ and NPHET's "daily doses of pessimism".

The advert in question showed the words "VACCINES ARE COMING", accompanied by Ryanair’s logo. The ad encouraged viewers to book their Easter and summer holidays with Ryanair to any number of popular holiday locations.

The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) received a number of complaints about the advert, and it was pulled as a result. Many of the complaints made reference to the fact that the age groups depicted in the advert almost definitely will not be vaccinated by Easter.

The ASAI said: "Ireland’s vaccination plan did not support the perception created in the marketing communications of people being capable of being vaccinated if they wished in sufficient time to travel by Easter."

In the interview, O'Leary said that Ryanair will not be requiring proof of vaccination from intending passengers and that everyone who has requested a refund for a cancelled flight has received one.

When asked by Morning Ireland host Adam Maguire whether all the people on social media who are claiming not to have gotten a refund from Ryanair are lying, O'Leary replied: "Correct."

O'Leary's comments come after Ryanair said it may lose close to €1 billion in its current financial year, but that the crisis would create significant growth opportunities.

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The airline said it expects to post a loss of between €850-950m in its current financial year, which ends on 31 March. This would be its worst ever financial performance.

In a statement issued to JOE, the airline said: "As we look beyond the Covid-19 crisis, and vaccinations roll out, the Ryanair Group expects to have a much lower cost base and a strong balance sheet, which will enable it to fund lower fares and add lower cost aircraft to capitalise on the many growth opportunities that will be available in all markets across Europe, especially where competitor airlines have substantially cut capacity or failed.

"We will work assiduously with our airport and government partners to restore routes and recover traffic for the benefit of our airports, our customers and our people as we try to prioritise the jobs and salary recovery of our people."