Michael O’Leary began his studies in a Catholic school, the Clongowes Wood College, and then at Trinity College in Dublin. He will come out without a diploma.
From 1984 to 1986 he was taw consultant at KPMG. In 1988 he became Tony Ryan’s financial advisor, co-founder with Christy Ryan and Liam Lonergan of Ryanair in 1985. At first time, it operates flights between Waterford, a town in south-eastern of Ireland, and London. The company expands quickly its offer with many flights intra Europe.
In the 1990s, Tony Ryan quitted the company’s direction and Michael O’Leary became deputy CEO in 1991 and CEO in 1994. He was responsible for restructuring the company in order to increase its earnings. He focused on a unique aircraft model, giving up the idea of business class and proposing very low prices.
In 1992, he went to Dallas to study the operation of Southwest Airlines. O’Leary transforms Ryanair from a small company in a first low cost’s group and third largest airline company in Europe (after Air France / KLM and Lufthansa). Ryanair’s headquarter is situated in Dublin.
The company had grown very quickly thanks to its business model of “low cost” and airline industry’s deregulation in Europe in 1997.
In 2001, Michael O’Leary was awarded as "European businessman of the Year" by Fortune magazine. Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair, died in 2007 of pancreatic cancer.
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