Ryanair Demands Immediate Aviation Rescue Plan from Irish Government
Ireland-based budget airline, Ryanair, has called on the Irish Government to announce an immediate rescue plan for Irish aviation and tourism, which it says is being devastated by Government mismanagement of the post-Covid reopening, even as vaccinations flood through the population.
Irish Leader, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, is due to announce plans for changes to current restrictions on international travel and the Irish hospitality sector, tomorrow Friday May 28th.
The vaccination program in the country got off to a slow start but has ramped up in recent weeks. Latest figures show Ireland has administered approximately 2.3 million Covid-19 vaccination doses, which means just over 23% of the population has received a dose. 60 new cases per 100,000 people have been reported in the last 7 days, with an average 423 new cases daily, 7% of the peak experienced in January.
Ryanair is calling on the Government to restore the UK Common Travel Area, with effect from Tuesday June 1st. In a statement, the airline has condemned what it has described as ‘bizarre’ and ‘untenable’ Government policy that UK citizens can drive over the Northern Ireland border without restriction, yet UK families, visitors and businesses flying into Ireland must quarantine for 14 days despite the fact that over 75% of the UK adult population has now been vaccinated.
In recent weeks, major European economies, including Portugal and Spain, have removed all restrictions on UK visitors. Ryanair has pleaded with the Government to remove further restrictions on air travel between Ireland and the EU from 1 July onwards. It has also requested that the requirement that visitors to Ireland from France, Belgium and Luxembourg must spend 2 weeks in hotel quarantine be lifted.
Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary accused the Irish Government of doing ‘untold damage’ to Irish aviation and tourism. In critical commentary he said, ‘It is time for Micheál Martin’s Government to introduce an emergency rescue plan for Irish aviation and tourism. Staycations may fill some hotels in the South and West of Ireland during July and August, but it will not fill the hotels of Dublin, and nor will it support Irish tourism once the schools reopen in September…’
Mr. O’Leary described the country’s Transport Minister, Eamon Ryan, of being ‘incapable or unwilling to act’ and called on both the Taoiseach and the Deputy Leader, Tanaiste, Leo Varadkar, to ‘take charge and reopen Ireland from the UK from Tuesday June 1st next, and to and from the EU from Thursday July 1st next.’