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Ryanair CEO Set to Get $109 Million Bonus

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  • Ryanair is a budget airline known for its cheap flights and extra fees.
  • CEO Michael O’Leary is set to get a $109 million bonus next year, per the FT.
  • He would get valuable stock options if the share price stays at 21 euros for 28 days.

The CEO of Ryanair is set to make one of the biggest bonuses in European history next year, worth $109 million, according to the Financial Times.

Michael O’Leary has been in charge of the airline since 1994, leading it to become one of the world’s top budget carriers.

A return trip between London and Milan starts at around $40, but that doubles if passengers want to check a bag up to 44 lbs.

Ryanair has become known for its cheap trips and extra fees, and has recovered well since the pandemic. This year, Ryanair stock is up 70%, per Markets Insider data.

That’s important to note because O’Leary’s potential bonus hinges on the share price. The incentive plan was originally set to expire in 2024, before it was extended last year until 2028, per the FT.

If the stock continues to rise and maintains a price of 21 euros for 28 consecutive days, O’Leary will earn stock options worth 100 million euros ($109 million), the FT reported.

It would come in the form of options to buy 10 million shares at 11.12 euros each, according to the FT.

Ryanair’s share price currently sits around 19 euros. And according to Bloomberg, analysts are optimistic that it will continue rise.

Data compiled by the outlet puts the average price target for Ryanair stock at 24.10 euros. And just one of the 17 analyst estimates it compiled puts Ryanair’s 12-month target below 21 euros.

“As long as we don’t do something stupid, which is a daily challenge in this industry, we will continue to wipe the floor with every other airline in Europe,” O’Leary told the FT earlier this year.

The Ryanair boss is paid around $2.9 million a year, per the Irish Times.

That’s behind American airline bosses like United Airlines’ Scott Kirby, who was paid $9.8 million, and the CEO of Southwest Airlines who was most recently paid $5.3 million.

O’Leary already owns more than 44 million shares in the airline, per its latest annual report, worth around $900 million.

Ryanair did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

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