Michael O’Leary said many more would rejoice when he finally steps down in around two years’ time after more than 17 years at the helm.
“I think there will be great joy, I think there will be dancing in the street at the idea of O’Leary leaving Ryanair,” he said.
“It will be a nicer, warmer, caring airline with me gone. I think half our passengers would like to see me dead and buried, actually, and eventually they’ll get what they want. Frankly, I couldn’t care less as long as they fly with us.”
Mr O’Leary (48), who recently announced he is considering ripping out seats on some services to take standing passengers, admitted he had done little to improve his image but said he was unconcerned about what people thought of him.
He predicted that once he had gone, the public perception of Ryanair would improve.
“I don’t think I’ve done a very good job on the whole customer image of Ryanair,” he said.
“Actually the service is phenomenal in terms of fares and our performance on punctuality, lost bags, and cancellations. One way or another we’re going to change come 2012.”
Asked about the qualities his successor would require he said: “All the qualities that I don’t have — sensitivity, passenger care, environmentally sensitive — all that kind of good, warm crap. They’d need to make up for 20 years of my mis-management in the areas that I don’t manage well.”