Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said the carrier will enable passengers to upload vaccine certificates and negative coronavirus PCR tests to the airline’s app.
Speaking to the parliamentary transport select committee on Wednesday, he said the low-cost airline would launch the tool because he does not think an international solution will be achieved in time for the peak holiday season.
“We are not a great supporter of the principle of a vaccine passport in the sense that you will have some internationally accredited documents that is only issued by governments because it won’t come out quickly enough for this summer,” he said.
“We’re launching a tool on our own app so passengers can either upload a vaccination certificate or negative PCR tests.
“Then you should be able to freely move.”
The UK government is in talks with other countries about vaccine certification for Brits to travel overseas and the European Commission will reveal plans for a ‘green digital pass’ later this month – but it said the technology will take at least three months.
Iata is also trialling health passport apps with several airlines.
O’Leary said the current legislation was “bonkers” and “completely nonsensical” as the entry rules require test results in English, Spanish or French – so Ryanair is facing “criminal charges” for flying passengers with test results in German and Italian.
Furthermore, O’Leary predicted the costs of PCR tests will “collapse” this summer because of the “widespread success” of the vaccination programme in the UK.
O’Leary said the scrapping of hotel quarantine is also needed to boost consumer confidence.
“Get rid of hotel quarantine. It is completely unpoliceable and ineffective,” he told the MPs on the committee.”
He did not think the government’s Global Travel Taskforce would achieve much, saying the Department for Transport should take decisions on transport.
Aviation minister Robert Courts told the MPs that he rejects the suggestion that the taskforce is “talking shop” or “a way of pushing this into the long grass”.
“It is bringing together ministers and the sector…to ease restrictions in a sustainable and robust way,” he said.
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