Ryanair CEO Calls Boeing 787 Problems 'Regulatory Crap'
Producer, CNBC's "Squawk Box"
The Irish airline just purchased 175 of Boeing's next generation 737 jets for $15.6 billion. But the oft-outspoken O'Leary said in a "Squawk Box" interview that he would have been just as happy with the Dreamliner if "Boeing wanted to sell me lot of 787s, cheaply."
"I would have no difficulty … my passengers would have no trouble getting on [787s]," he added. "You will come back here in 12 months time and everybody will have forgotten there was a lithium battery on the 787."
As for Ryanair's decision to place that new order from U.S.-based Boeing instead of Airbus of Europe, O'Leary said, "Look at the economics of the 737, the 800 [series] has 189 seats. The [Airbus] A320 has 180 seats. And those nine extra seats when you're flying them eight times a day, 365 days a year are a compelling competitive advantage for Boeing."
(Read More: Airbus Grabs Order From Boeing Customer)
He also argued, "It's why Ryanair has a lower competitive cost of any other airline in Europe most of whom fly Airbus." He said the average flight time on his European routes is about 90 minutes to two hours at the cost about $40 a ticket — half the average cost of one on Southwest Airlines.
O'Leary certainly doesn't shy away from controversy, once saying he wanted to take the back bathrooms out his planes. He told CNBC that regulators won't let him, but if he was able to swap in the six extra seats he wanted, ticket costs for all his passengers would be "lower by another 5 percent."
Commenting on his inquiries into creating a "standing-room only" section in the cabin like on trains and buses, O'Leary said the vision there could be that one day, there'd be so much room that passengers could fly for free with the airline making money "selling snacks and the other stuff."
Ryanair CEO on Cyprus
As for the bailout that would require taxing Cyprus bank savers, O'Leary said, "[We] are the largest airline in Cyprus … but we don't have any bank accounts or deposits in Cyprus, thankfully." He said Ryanair shut them down about a year ago "because there was always a danger of some kind of run on the Cyprus banks."
(Read More: Huffington on Cyprus: GDP There Half Apple Earnings)
O'Leary added, "What the Europeans are doing is insane … you can't go in there and steal people's money out of the banks." He said it could "undermine the whole European banking system, if people can't rely at least that their money is safe in banks."
In a couple other southern European trouble-spots, Italy and Spain, O'Leary said Ryanair is the No. 1 airline in those countries and it has bank accounts in each. He said he's had conversations about pulling money from Italy and Spain but he expects things there will calm down.