O'Leary flicks a 'Victory' sign at sacked airport workers in SpainPA

Michael O'Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, has yet again caused controversy and offence - this time by gloating and mocking a group of airline workers who had just lost their jobs.

This week he arrived at Bilbao airport in Spain to publicise the launch of his airline's new Spanish routes - just weeks after Spanair, a low-cost competitor, went bust.

As O'Leary spoke of his airline's expansion, he was videoed signalling a victory sign to a group of former employees of Spanair.

The laid-off employees were protesting at the airport when O'Leary made a joke at their expense.

Speaking over the noise of the protesting workers, he said: "I'd like to thank all of our fans outside for helping us to promote the arrival of Ryanair in Bilbao today."

O'Leary flicks a 'Victory' sign at sacked airport workers in SpainPA

In typically ebullient form, he was also pictured posing for the cameras, kissing model Ryanair aeroplanes and grinning triumphantly.

As he left, tempers were clearly flared and he was escorted from the airport by local police.

According to pictures and reports in The Consumerist, several workers surrounded O'Leary, swore at him and gave him the middle finger.

See the video here.

Five ways Ryanair has irritated us in the past three months

Ryanair caused fury after announcing it was increasing its baggage fees by up to £60 per bag in December.

Also in December, Ryanair came under attack for using 'sexist' photos of staff dressed in underwear in its advertising.

In November, the airline was found to be offering bonuses to workers to motivate them to catch passengers with hand luggage deemed 'too heavy'.

In November, a pregnant woman was left stranded in Portugal after Ryanair refused to let her board her flight home - despite a medical certificate declaring she was fit to fly.

In November, O'Leary announced that he deserved the Nobel Peace prize for 'integrating Europe' and 'preventing wars'.

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