Ryanair CEO hits out at Dr. Tony Holohan over travel advice 1 month ago

Ryanair CEO hits out at Dr. Tony Holohan over travel advice

Eddie Wilson, CEO of the Ryanair airline, came in for criticism following appearances on Irish radio this morning (1 July).

Wilson appeared on RTÉ's Morning Ireland and Newstalk Breakfast as the airline today relaunched 1,000 daily flights across Europe as it seeks to return to business following Covid-19 restrictions.

However, Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs currently advises against any non-essential overseas travel.

Hitting out at Ireland's travel policy, Wilson said: "The only country that’s out of step is Ireland." Representatives for Ryanair have also repeatedly referred to Ireland's demand that tourists self-isolate for 14 days "useless" and "stupid".

Speaking on Newstalk, Wilson went on to say that travel restrictions won't "make Ireland some kind of Covid-free Tír na nÓg".

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris, who served as Minister for Health until last week, tweeted: "Haven’t found myself shouting at the radio in quite a while but that interview on air travel and #Covid19 on @morningireland changed all that.

"As a citizen, I’ll keep taking my public health advice from our @CMOIreland and would recommend you do likewise."

The National Public Health Emergency Team has officially advised against international travel, with Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan saying on Monday: "Think about other people and the risk you might pose even if you recover very well, for people who are more vulnerable."

Similarly, Deputy CMO Ronan Glynn said: "The risk of imported cases remains high. It’s important that continue to avoid all unnecessary travel at this time."

Wilson, who has been CEO of Ryanair since 2019, said that Dr. Tony Holohan's remarks were "wrong" and "disproportionate."

Yesterday, it was confirmed that residents of 15 countries can now travel to the EU and UK, though the USA, Brazil, India and Russia are not on the list.

Elsewhere, Michael O'Leary welcomed the reopening of the EU to outside visitors, but took another shot at how Ireland are handling travel in the age of Covid.

He said: "We welcome this week’s decision by the UK Government to replace its failed “form filling” quarantine with air bridges to most of Europe. We also call on the Irish Government to scrap its equally useless form filling exercise at airports, which does not deliver any quarantine benefit whatsoever, particularly when there is very little follow up and no control on the accuracy of the implementation of these forms.

"Ireland’s tourism industry, which supports 100,000 jobs in July and August, is heavily dependent on welcoming UK and European visitors, and this useless form filling will deter visitors, and damage Irish tourism and jobs."