UK
04/11/2013 06:21 GMT | Updated 04/11/2013 07:15 GMT

Michael O'Leary Praises 'Cuddly' Ryanair's Soaring Profits

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Michael O'Leary, chief executive officer of Ryanair Holdings Plc, reacts ahead of a Bloomberg Television interview in London, U.K., on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. Ryanair, Europe's biggest discount airline, predicted a profit drop for its fiscal full year as increased competition and weaker economic conditions across Europe weigh on earnings. Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary claimed the controversial low-cost airline has always been "cuddly" as he unveiled the airline has seen profits rise for the first half of 2013.

Ryanair transported 49 million passengers in the first six months of 2013, and made €602 million profit, which marks a 1% increase over the last year.

Speaking on CNBC, O'Leary said: "I think we have always been cuddly."

"We've been famed for our cuddliness. There's some kind of a media creation out there that we're running around abusing passengers. If you did you wouldn't grow to 81 million passengers."

The Ryaniar chief's claim for "cuddliness" comes after he was forced to admit the airline did too many things that "unnecessarily piss people off".

O'Leary's admission has led to a new charm offensive by Ryanair, as it seeks to woo back customers and look more accessible. This has led to the airline putting a suggestions form on its website asking its customers for tips on how to improve its service, and O'Leary taking to Twitter for "#AskMOL" question and answer sessions.