Ryanair CEO: Swine flu only affects ‘slum dwellers’

I’m apprehensive about giving any press to the buffoon who runs the Irish budget airline Ryanair. But so adept is Michael O’Leary, the company’s CEO, at making ill-considered statements that its simply too easy to report them.

This is the guy who recently suggested that Ryanair might begin charging for use of its on board toilets, and a while back suggested that the airline might start giving out blow jobs.

Mr. O’Leary today weighs in on the fears surrounding swine flu, saying the virus is only a risk to Asians and Mexicans “living in slums,” according to the Times of London.

Now it’s true that the media are probably hyping swine flu a bit too much, with all the talk of a global pandemic, but clearly this is not just a problem of the slums. Travelers who have vacationed in well developed places like Cancun have returned home to find themselves infected.

“Are we going to die from swine flu? No. Are we in danger of SARS? No. Foot and mouth disease? No. Will it affect people flying short-haul flights around Europe this summer? Thankfully, no,” Mr O’Leary said, according to the Times.

“It is a tragedy only for people living … in slums in Asia or Mexico. But will the honeymoon couple from Edinburgh die? No. A couple of Strepsils will do the job.”

What do you think? Is the media making too much of the swine flu? Will in impact travel?