easyJet 'UK's most popular airline', Ryanair on the offensive
easyJet is the most popular airline in the UK, ladies and gentlemen. That's according to this just in - from easyJet. The press release also refers to easyJet as the 'UK's national airline', no doubt an example of calculated posturing amongst the strike turmoil for flag-bearing British Airways.
According to the figures provided by the Civil Aviation Authority, in 2009 easyJet carried 28,147,268 passengers - 'significantly more than any other airline' according to the press release. Except it isn't really, at least not according to the same set of figures which show Ryanair in second place with 28,095,201 UK passengers. That's a difference of 52,067 passengers, or less than 0.2 per cent - hardly a difference that can be described as significant.
The press release puts British Airways is third with 26,274,056 passengers carried in 2009, although that figure is adjusted to strip out journeys made by transfer passengers. After that, there's fresh air between BA and fourth place BMI (6.8 million) and fifth place FlyBe (6.75 million).
Interestingly, easyJet deliberately avoids describing themselves as 'the UK's favourite airline'; the press release uses the terms 'the UK's national airline' and 'the UK's most popular airline'. Of course Ryanair refers to itself as 'Britain’s favourite airline', thus opening of another can of ambiguous worms; favourite isn't the same as popular, while Britain isn't the same as the UK.
It's all ammunition for the upcoming airline dogfight that's intensifying between easyJet and Ryanair; after challenging the airline's Stelios Haji-Ioannou to an idiotic 'Sumo Smackdown' in Trafalgar Square, Sky Marshall O'Leary is now blowing air out his hole about easyJet's refusal to publish punctuality figures for its services. O'Leary might have a point, but what kind of businessman puts his name to a press release like this?
"Stelios has so far failed to take up Ryanair’s challenge of a race around Trafalgar Square, or a wheelbarrow race, or even a sumo wrestling bout where Stelios’ obvious talents would give him a significant advantage..."
"Stelios obviously can’t run, but he can’t hide either."
HE'S FAT, WE GET IT, MICHAEL. Bravo to you, sir, for taking the piss out of people for being overweight - a courageous move, for sure. Sadly, it's difficult to care much when you yourself come across as an appallingly offensive jumped-up shit of a man.