CityJet founder Pat Byrne has said that it is realistic that people will travel abroad this summer. Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, March 18, he said “I think that yes, I am hopeful there will be travel this summer. Maybe mid-summer or from mid-summer on but I think we are going to see travel this summer.”
Mr Byrne acknowledged that there was “huge, pent-up pressure from people who have a demand to want to travel, to need to travel” and that this pressure would eventually tell on the country’s political leaders.
He also praised the EU’s ‘pragmatic’ plan to introduce a Digital Green Certificate that will allow people to travel freely this summer, and highlighted that the so-called ‘vaccine passport’ would also make allowances for travellers who’ve had negative covid tests or have built up antibodies due to already having had coronavirus: “It is not proof of vaccine exclusive but it seems to be including proof of a negative test result and also including people who have had COVD and have recovered from it – if they can establish that too.
“So, it seems to be broader than vaccine-only which is very good. I think it is a pragmatic approach. It is a proposal at this stage, it is going to be debated, I think, next week and if it goes through as advertised, I think it could be a big boost for the aviation industry.”
Mr Byrne also criticised the government’s plan to introduce mandatory hotel quarantine for arrivals from certain countries, which is due to be initiated in the coming days after the president signed the bill into law last week.
“I don’t agree with it. I think it is nonsense. I don’t think it is pragmatic. I think it is much ado about nothing.
“I actually think that, if there was more effort made on introducing rapid antigen testing in the community on a widespread basis and on a controlled basis, I think it would serve our government an awful lot better than this nonsense.”
(Pictured: Cathal O’Connell, CityJet Commercial Director; CityJet Executive Chairman Pat Byrne, and Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director Cork Airport; photo by John Allen)