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Note to O'Leary: When you are sincere about staying out of the limelight you don't need to make a press announcement that you're staying out of the limelight, you just stay out of it and do your work.

Outspoken chief to step out of spotlight as airline tries to present a friendlier image.

Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, has called time on his colourful “Pony and Trap show” publicity stunts as the low-cost airline prepares to report its first third quarter loss since 2010.

The outspoken chief executive is stepping out of the public spotlight and will make only very “rare” media appearances, as Ryanair tries to present a new, friendlier image.

The self-styled ultra low-cost carrier has been rolling out a string of improvements, including fully allocated seating on all of its flights, which came into force yesterday.

Michael Cawley, Ryanair’s outgoing deputy chief executive and chief operating officer will present third- quarter results on Monday, which are expected to show a quarterly loss for the three months to December 31.

The consensus view among analysts is that Ryanair made a loss after tax of €35m (£29m), down from an €18m profit at the same point the previous year.

Although most airlines make losses over the winter, it would be the first time Ryanair has been in the red at the third-quarter stage since the closing months of 2010, when it made a €10m loss.

Ryanair surprised the markets last year when it issued two profits warnings in close succession and downgraded forecasts for the full financial year from a range of €570m-€600m to €510m.

The airline then embarked on a publicity blitz, launching a seat sale and promising to do away with all of the fees and rules that “unnecessarily bugged” passengers.

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Tags: earnings, execs, oleary, ryanair

Photo credit: Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary gestures during a signing ceremony at the 50th Paris Air Show, at the Le Bourget airport near Paris, June 19, 2013. O'Leary said on Wednesday that the airline could order 200 or more Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by the end of the year, though the timing was not certain. Pascal Rossignol / Reuters

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