Ryanair Defends Picturing Swedish PM in Cheap Flights Ad

10 April 2006

    DUBLIN - Low cost airline Ryanair has complained at the decision by Swedish prime minister Goran Persson to sue it for using his image without permission.
    The PM and former foreign minister Laila Freivalds each seeks compensation of SKr75,000 ($9,726; €8,032; £5,587) for unauthorized use of their images in an ad for the 'no frills' airline in a Swedish newspaper in February.
    Ryanair's Scandinavian sales manger Lotta Lindquist condemned the action: "This court case is a complete waste of Swedish taxpayer's money and another example of this government trying to stifle competition in the airline market."
    The airline, allegedly able to wring blood from a stone, is also miffed by the Swedish government's proposal to impose an environmental tax on air travel to and from Sweden.
    Perhaps viewing herself as Yeltsin defying the Soviet tanks, Lindquist proclaimed: "We will defend the right of free speech and also the right of consumers to have low fare air travel."