Ryanair shareholders re-elect chairman and CEO but support falls

Ryanair aircraft

RLAM voted against the re-election of chairman David Bonderman at today's annual shareholder meeting.

Ryanair's long-serving chairman has survived a shareholder rebellion but investors have demanded change at the airline after a summer of strikes and flight cancellations, and accusations of a weak board unwilling to stand up to management. Pilots are also employed on contracts through brokers, and unions are insisting that the airline offer them direct employment in 2019.

Last week cabin crew in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Portugal announced a 24-hour strike for September 28 - a stoppage unions said will be the biggest strike in the Irish carrier's history.

It was the first collective agreement the airline has reached in the Republic and represented the reversal of a 32-year policy.

Bonderman, who stepped down from the board of Uber after making derogatory remarks about women, faced opposition from a number of investors including asset manager Royal London, the Local Authority Pension Fund (LAPFF) and the International Transport Workers' Federation. He is seen to be one of the drivers of the airline's anti-union culture. If it does not, investment director Alison Kennedy said she would vote against Mr Bonderman, Mr McLaughlin and the rest of the nomination committee at next year's AGM.

O'Leary was re-elected by 98.5 percent, compared to 99 percent support in the previous two years. Though he said he suspected that the British government would allow flights to land in the United Kingdom in the event of a no-deal scenario, "there is no indication the reverse is true". Even though O'Leary is more pessimistic than his counterparts in other European airlines, he had noted last week that a grounding of flights would not last more than "a couple of days or a couple of weeks" because politicians would solve the situation "pretty damn quickly".

However they will be charged if they want to take on a 10kg holdall or suitcase.

He said: "Some may be tempted to simply sell the shares and have done with it, especially as Ryanair's record on corporate governance is not entirely unblemished in the eyes of some".

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