Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary pocketed £ 20m windfall after cashing in shares as budget airline bookings take off


Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary pocketed £ 20m windfall after cashing in shares as budget airline bookings take off


Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has pocketed £ 20 million windfall after cashing Ryanair shares as budget airline bookings take off.

O’Leary picked up 2.5 million shares just a week ago and sold them the same day. The deal gave the Irish business a pre-tax profit of € 23.3 million. Details emerged on the stock exchange filing after the markets closed last Monday.

Jackpot: Michael O’Leary now receives € 100 million bonus with wife Anita Farrell

O’Leary has been granted stock options under a five-year bonus plan agreed in 2014. Since then, they have been offered an incentive plan that pays € 100 million if the shares are € 21 or more for the 28-day period between April 2021. And March 2024. Payment can also be triggered if Ryanair’s profit doubles to € 2 billion over the same period.

Analysts say O’Leary is looking at a € 100 million bonus, with Ryanair shares recovering to pre-epidemic highs, doubling from € 8.52 in March last year to € 16.88 on Friday.

He is the largest individual shareholder with a 3.91 per cent stake in Ryanair worth € 776 million. Plus he has 12.5 million stock options.

O’Leary acknowledged that he feared the airline would run out of cash at the start of the epidemic. But revenues were boosted by a surge in bookings after lifting restrictions on vaccinated passengers, reducing the half-year loss to € 48 million compared to € 411 million last year. In October, Ryanair carried 11.3 million passengers, compared to 4.1 million passengers in October last year.

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