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Coronavirus vaccine requirement 'not really relevant' for short-haul flights - Ryanair CEO

A requirement for passengers to have a COVID-19 vaccine to fly is "not really relevant" for short...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

09.13 24 Nov 2020


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Coronavirus vaccine requiremen...

Coronavirus vaccine requirement 'not really relevant' for short-haul flights - Ryanair CEO

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

09.13 24 Nov 2020


Share this article


A requirement for passengers to have a COVID-19 vaccine to fly is "not really relevant" for short-haul flights in Europe, the CEO of Ryanair has said.

He said Europe will be an "entirely different landscape" next year compared to nations that only have to consider their own border rules.

He was speaking after the head of Australian airline Qantas announced yesterday it is likely passengers would need a jab would be needed before boarding international flights when they resume.

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Dublin-born Alan Joyce told Australia's Nine News he thinks a vaccine will be a 'necessity' for passengers coming in and out of Australia.

Ryanair's Eddie Wilson today said such a plan would be more effective in Australia, as one of the only ways to get there is via air travel.

However, he suggested that if someone in Europe failed to get a vaccine for a flight, they could just cross borders by land.

Coronavirus vaccine requirement 'not really relevant' for short-haul flights - Ryanair CEO

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Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, he said: "With Qantas, they're a long-haul operator - vaccinations in that context are really for long-haul.

"With short-haul and freedom of movement of people in Europe... I think we'll see an entirely different landscape come Spring and early Summer. [It's] not really relevant for short-haul and European travel."

Mr Wilson said Australia is a 'long way from everywhere', but Europe in contrast has a large number of interconnected nations.

He suggested: "In Paris, if you were to choose no vaccination... you'd just get a train instead."

Christmas travel

In terms of Christmas travel this year, Mr Wilson said Ryanair will be putting on around 40 extra flights in the week or so leading up to Christmas Day.

He said: "We've got extra demand... people are starting to travel.

"In November... people were cutting schedules everywhere. But for Christmas I think people are starting to travel again."

Officials such as Dr Tony Holohan and senior ministers have encouraged people not to travel to Ireland from abroad for Christmas.

However, Mr Wilson said people should look at the EU traffic light system.

He encouraged anyone travelling from status 'orange' countries to take a coronavirus test three days before they fly.

The Ryanair boss claimed international travel 'gets a bad rap' from the likes of NPHET, but he believes people coming home for Christmas will be responsible.

Main image: File photo of Ryanair plane taking off from Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport. Picture by: Soeren Stache/DPA/PA Images

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