Stelios receives retraction and apology from Ryanair and Michael O’Leary
15 July 2010 posted by Gavin Richardson
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has today received a full retraction and apology from Ryanair and Chief Executive Michael O'Leary for running an advert at the beginning of this year suggesting that Stelios was lying about easyJet's punctuality.
The advert featured a picture of Stelios as Pinocchio and referred to him as "easyJet's - Mr Late Again" and called on "Stelios...to stop hiding the truth" about easyJet's flight delays and resume publishing weekly details of easyJet's on-time performance.
Stelios issued High Court proceedings against Ryanair and Michael O'Leary after the advert was published claiming that the statements made about him were libellous.
Michael O'Leary and Ryanair have today unreservedly apologised to Stelios in open court and in writing for these remarks in so far as they related to him personally and suggested that he was lying about the matter. They accept that Stelios is not responsible for the non publication of easyJet's on-time statistics and was not involved in the decision by easyJet management to cease publishing the figures.
"It is not very often that someone as arrogant and as powerful as O'Leary is forced to apologise to someone else in public and in writing. I took this legal action to protect my reputation. I am not a liar and that statement was libellous.
I would like to dedicate this little victory to all those members of the travelling public who have suffered verbal abuse and hidden extras at the hands of O'Leary."
A full page apology at the expense of Ryanair will run in today's Daily Telegraph and Guardian and will be repeated in those newspapers next week. It will also appear on Ryanair's website.
Michael O'Leary and Ryanair have undertaken not to publish the advert again and have agreed to pay Stelios damages and legal costs in settlement of the libel claim.
The sum offered was £50,100 which Stelios has accepted. He will donate the money to his philanthropic foundation and it has been agreed it will be used for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK - 2010 which is run in partnership with Leonard Cheshire, the disability charity.
Sunday Telegraph: "Apology of the month has to be the delightful turbo-grovel by Michael O'Leary"
Sunday Herald: Fall-out of the week
Sunday Times: Quotes of the week
Irish Sunday Independent: What are the odds?
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