Ryanair under fire for Twitter poke at Downing Street

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Michael O'Leary
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary who once described pilots as "full of their own self-importance".

Ryanair has come under fire for making light of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has killed 146,000 people in the UK, when their social media team posted an infographic comparing the actual coronavirus levels to rumours about Downing Street parties.

The Ryanair social media team compared the current alert level 4, described officially as “epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high and direct COVID-19 pressure on healthcare services is widespread and substantial or rising”, to “Boris [Johnson] topless and asking Thatcher’s portrait if she comes here often


Twitter user Jason Hill was amongst the many offended by the tweet saying “Very unprofessional and in poor taste. Thousands have been affected by this disease. An international airline using it to make jokes is very low. I suspect the tweet will be deleted at some point when it’s realised it’s quite insulting to those who’ve been affected”

Others described the tweet as “inappropriate” adding that they were glad Ryanair found the coronavirus pandemic funny as they were “terrified”.

It is unclear what Ryanair was trying to achieve with the tweet which whilst It did play into the hands of some anti-Boris accounts, the vast majority found it offensive and in poor taste.

Some pointed that Ryanair shouldn’t be so quick to poke fun given their own failings in the customer service department.

With the emergence of a new variant and many facing an uncertain Christmas, it is hard to see what an airline will gain from joking about it however their “admin” seems happy with his/her efforts today displaying all the class of Vicky Pollard after several Lambrinis.

It isn’t the first time Ryanair’s social media team have come under fire, they have previously been referred to the ASA over campaigns including one promoting students getting blind drunk on a beach saying “this could be you” along with the infamous “jab & go” campaign.

Ryanair has been asked for comment.

Is it ok for airlines to make jokes about pandemics? Let us know what you think in the comments.

About Nick Harding 1960 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.

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