Willie Walsh has claimed victory in the latest debate on low fares as Michael O`Leary turns down the opportunity to debate on the world`s longest running TV talk-show. After keeping the programme waiting for an answer since Wednesday, Michael O`Leary`s handlers finally conceded when they notified RTE today that he would not appear.
The facts on this low fares debate are:
“Ryanair made untrue statements about Aer Lingus fares in their advertisements. We have challenged them and provided the correct fares information to make a “like for like” comparison, (Michael O`Leary`s words.)
Ryanair have not published this information despite Michael Cawley`s (Ryanair Chief Operating Officer) commitment to do so: “If Aer Lingus would like to provide the ASA with a more accurate analysis of their scheduled passengers and their scheduled revenues, we will be happy to amend the average fare figure in the advert.” Quote from Letter to Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland dated 2nd May 2003.
“Aer Lingus has provided detailed average fares data directly to Michael O`Leary and to the Advertising Standards Authority that shows clearly that the Ryanair advertising is wrong. To date Michael O`Leary has refused to publish this information despite promises that he would and he has not published any similar information on Ryanair`s average fares as also promised. “If Ryanair receives this information we will amend our ads to contain an exact like for like comparison.” Quote from Ryanair statement undated but issued on 14th May 2003.
Aer Lingus will publish our average fares information on what Michael O`Leary calls a “like for like basis.” On his performance so far we do not believe Michael O`Leary will publish his information.
It is time to put some questions to Michael O`Leary:
* Why did he publish information about Aer Lingus fares that he had to know was untrue?
* Why does he refuse to publish the true information on Aer Lingus average fares that he now has?
* Why will he not publish the equivalent Ryanair fares information to enable a “like for like” comparison? (His words, not ours.)
Aer Lingus is now a low fares airline and Michael O`Leary does not like it. aerlingus.com for the cheapest Aer Lingus fares.