Ryanair has called for an immediate restoration of the UK Common Travel Area. In a statement released this morning, 27 May, it condemned as “bizarre and untenable” the notion 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 per cent” of the UK adult population has now been vaccinated.
Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary didn’t hold back in his criticisms, saying that the government has “visited untold damage” on Irish aviation and tourism.
“Ireland has a Minister for Transport who has no plan, no policy and no commitment to aviation,” O’Leary said.
“Ireland is an island on the periphery of Europe, yet our Transport Minister has sat on an Aviation Recovery Plan since July 2020, but taken no action at all.
Ryanair has no faith in Minister Eamonn Ryan, who has shown himself to be ineffective and not up to the job, even while Irish airlines are closing bases here, and moving aircraft and jobs overseas to the UK and Europe.”
Remove All Restrictions
Ryanair also called for the government to remove all restrictions on inbound and outbound travel between Ireland to the EU from 1 July.
“At the end of June, over 80 per cent of Ireland’s adult population (and over 80 per cent of the adults of most EU states) will have received at least their first dose vaccine,” the statement said.
“There should be no further restrictions on air travel between Ireland and the EU from 1 July onwards, and the ludicrous requirement that visitors to Ireland from France, Belgium and Luxembourg must spend 2 weeks in hotel quarantine should be removed.”
Mr O’Leary added: “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. Since our Minister for Transport is incapable or unwilling to act, Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar must now take charge and reopen Ireland from the UK from Tues 1 June next, and to/from the EU from Thursday 1 July next”.