Ryanair Chief executive, Michael O'Leary has told reporters for the Financial Times, that Ryanair has acquired Concorde and intends to use it as part of a no frills airline service for Ireland's super-rich. The aircraft will go into operation between Dublin Airport and the Grand Cayman islands.
O'Leary hopes to have the service up and running by mid August and has indicated that a single flight to the Cayman Islands will cost as little as €20 each way. Reporters were astonished to hear this and quickly questioned the media savvy O'Leary.
'Its very simple really. We know that Ireland's super-rich are mean bastards at heart, and we wouldn't expect them to pay for the privilege of flying on Concorde at normal market rates; so we came up with an ingenious plan. First of all we fly them to Grand Cayman where most of them have offshore accounts hidden away from the Irish Revenue Commissioners. As soon as they check-in, we tell them that their swag-bag is too heavy, and we charge them €15,000. Quite simple really!'
The tickets, which went on sale yesterday, are block booked until Christmas 2004. Although Ryanair would not release the passenger list, it is suspected that many of them are former politicians and prominent businessmen.
O'Leary hopes to introduce a similar service between London and Grand Cayman in September, quickly followed by a service from Washington in the autumn.
'By next spring we hope to have a daily service between most major European capitals and the Cayman Islands, we are also seriously considering introducing a service from a number of African states where we believe there will be huge demand.'
Chairman of Save Concorde Group Ross Mallett expressed delight at the new operation beginning so soon after the retirement of the big white bird'.