Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary smacked in the face with a cream pie by shameless EU eco activists

Michael O'Leary is hit by environmentalists

Michael O'Leary is hit by environmentalists

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 07/09/2023

- 14:48

Updated: 07/09/2023

- 16:27

The individuals involved did not identify themselves

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary was met with an unpleasant surprise upon his arrival at the European Union headquarters in Brussels on Thursday.

Environmentalists hit his head with cream pies in a protest over carbon emissions by Europe’s busiest airline.

“Stop the pollution,” cried one of the protesters after hitting O’Leary in the face with a pie as he was setting up a photo opportunity with a cardboard cutout of European Commission Presient Ursula von der Leyen.

A second protester hit him in the back of the head with another pie.


They did not make clear whether they were acting on behalf of an organisation.

O’Leary was in a light-hearted mood despite being caked in cream, commenting: “My only complaint was that the cream was artificial and not tasty.”

He was also quick to ask his assistant to take his soiled jacket away to be cleaned.

The Ryanair CEO was in Brussels to present a petition to Ursula von der Leyen with 1.5 million signatures demanding that flights be allowed to cross French airspace during air traffic control strikes there.

O'Leary is determined for the ban to be lifted as it has caused widespread disruption this year.

The air company says it is one of the most efficient airlines in the world due to the large number of passengers it fits into its aircraft.

Plans are in place to fly 12.5 per cent of flights using sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.

Europe’s largest airline is flying 20 per cent more passengers than it did before the Covid pandemic.

Despite positive signs for the company, the protests came as Ryanair pilots in Belgium announced a new strike for 14 and 15 September, their fourth stoppage in two month, over pay and working conditions.

The chief executive is familiar with the public eye having courted publicity with a series of media appearances.

Michael O'Leary covered in pie cream

O'Leary seemed perplexed at the turn of events


The company themselves have made light of the incident, mocking the protest on their social media pages.

One of the tweets, attached with an image of O’Leary smothered in cream, commented: “Warm welcome in Brussels today to celebrate Ryanair’s seven new routes for Winter 23.

“Passengers so happy with our routes and petition that they’re celebrating with cake. We’ve got tasty low fares!”

Another tweet from the group shed light on the pie’s composition, hinting that it could be vegan.

“Shame it was soy-based cream, definitely not as tasty as the real stuff,” they quipped.

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