Ryanair mourns death of founder

All of Ryanair’s 4,800 people wish to extend their sincere and deepest sympathies to the family and many friends of Dr Tony Ryan who died this afternoon, after a long illness.

Dr Ryan founded Ryanair 23 years ago. He persevered when all others lost faith. His vision, leadership and ambition inspired Ryanair’s growth to become the world’s biggest international passenger airline. He was, and will remain, an inspiration to all of us.

It is rare that one man in his own lifetime can transform the lives of millions. Dr Ryan did so by pioneering competition and low fare air travel in Europe. Ryanair is proud to bear his name and his legacy. We will miss him greatly.

Dr Ryan and the Ryan family are in our thoughts and prayers at this time.

Ryanair’s Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary said:


“Tony Ryan was one of the greatest Irishmen of the 20th Century. His many achievements in business, education, sport, the arts and heritage preservation leave an astonishing legacy to an extraordinary man. He was immensely supportive of, and took great pride in his family and their many successes. It was a privilege to work for him and to learn from him. I will miss his guidance, encouragement and friendship. We are all determined that Ryanair will continue to carry his name with pride and distinction”.

Ryanair’s Chairman, David Bonderman said:

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege both to know and work with Tony Ryan. He possessed an extraordinary vision. Whether it was airline investments in Asia, vineyards in Europe or bloodstock in the U.S., he brought a tremendous sense of style, charm and good humour to all of his business and personal relationships. Ireland will be a poorer place for the loss of Tony Ryan”.