Unvaccinated ‘shouldn’t be allowed’ on planes, says Michael O’Leary

Governments should ‘make life difficult’ for people who refuse vaccine – Ryanair chief

Michael O’Leary said  he expects the first few months of the year to be weak if there’s continued uncertainty over restrictions, or if new measures are imposed Photograph:  Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Michael O’Leary said he expects the first few months of the year to be weak if there’s continued uncertainty over restrictions, or if new measures are imposed Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

 

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary thinks only vaccinated passengers should be allowed to fly, according to a newspaper interview.

The Telegraph newspaper in the UK said the Irish airline chief pushed back against compulsory vaccine programmes being rolled out in Austria and Germany. Instead, governments should “make life difficult” for people who refuse to take the vaccine without good reason.

“If you’re not vaccinated, you shouldn’t be allowed in the hospital, you shouldn’t be allowed to fly, you shouldn’t be allowed on the London Underground, and you shouldn’t be allowed in the local supermarket or your pharmacy either,” he said.

The omicron variant has once again dashed the travel sector’s hopes for recovery, as a fresh wave of restrictions leads passengers to cancel or hold off on booking trips. Mr O’Leary said Ryanair expects to fly 10 per cent fewer passengers in December as a result, according to the newspaper interview.

He said he also expects the first few months of the year to be weak if there’s continued uncertainty over restrictions, or if new measures are imposed.

The outspoken chief executive already hit the headlines earlier this week, as Ryanair used its Twitter account to mock UK prime minister Boris Johnson over Christmas parties in Downing Street. The image listed mock government responses to coronavirus alert levels, ranging from “small gathering with wine and cheese” to “full on rave”.

Mr O’Leary was unrepentant according to the Telegraph, saying, “You get promoted around here for upsetting Johnson and his half-witted idiots.”

He criticised the UK government for panicking over the omicron variant when other European countries don’t seem to have the same concerns, and said this would likely prevent people from travelling over Christmas due to the uncertainty. – Bloomberg