Just 10 candidates remain for what has been dubbed "the worst job in PR" – head of communications at Ryanair.
The no-frills airline began advertising for the position last month, after it was announced that current incumbent Stephen McNamara would be taking up a similar role at the Irish Rugby Football Union.
Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief executive, paid tribute to Mr McNamara, who he said had been "battered and bruised" for four years, and added that the hunt was on to find a "brave soul" to take on the "high profile and incredibly overpaid" challenge.
Now, according to a report in the Irish Independent, the airline has reduced the field to 10 candidates after the latest round of interviews took place last week. It is also understood that the final selection of candidates will be interrogated by Mr O'Leary himself – a daunting task that will only be topped by the actual job of looking after Ryanair's public image.
For a company that describes itself as "the world's most popular airline", Ryanair's receives criticism on a frequent basis – largely due to its high fees and charges.
To check in a bag on the Irish carrier, travellers must pay between £25 and £45, while all passengers are required to pay a £6 "admin" fee, a £6 "web check-in" fee, as well as a "EU261 levy", to offset the cost of paying compensation for flight delays and cancellations, and an "ETS levy" to cover the cost of the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme.
It also faced allegations about flight safety last year when two aircraft bound for Madrid were forced to make an emergency landing in Valencia after they drew near to their minimum level of fuel.
Mr O'Leary's outspoken nature is unlikely to make life any easier for the new PR guru. Last year he described Suzy McLeod, a British woman who was charged £236 by the airline for failing to print out her own boarding pass, as "stupid". Other memorable comments include his dismissal of customer service – "People say the customer is always right, but you know what - they're not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so" – and his criticism of overweight passengers – "Nobody wants to sit beside a really fat ****** on board. We have been frankly astonished at the number of customers who don't only want to tax fat people but torture them."
The Telegraph, London