By Cate McCurry, PA
Ryanair’s boss has accused the Government of bringing “untold damage” on the aviation and tourism sector.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary also criticised Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan for having no “plan, policy or commitment” on aviation.
The airline boss made the comments after he called on the Government to announce an “immediate rescue plan” for Irish aviation and tourism.
On Friday, the Government is to confirm its plan to ease more restrictions in June and July
Taoiseach Micheál Martin will announce details on the full reopening of the hospitality sector, international travel and sports and cultural events.
Mr O’Leary called for Mr Martin to restore the UK Common Travel Area on June 1st, describing it as “bizarre and untenable” that UK visitors arriving into the Republic have to undergo quarantine.
He also said that passengers travelling between Ireland and other EU member states should not be subject to hotel quarantine or coronavirus restrictions.
Mr O’Leary also referenced the number of people who have received Covid-19 vaccines in Ireland and the low number of patients with the virus in hospital.
He also accused the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) of “promulgating scare stories” about the Indian variant.
It is time for Micheál Martin’s Government to introduce an emergency rescue plan for Irish aviation and tourism
“This Government has visited untold damage on Irish aviation and tourism,” Mr O’Leary said in a statement.
“Ireland has a Minister for Transport who has no plan, no policy and no commitment to aviation.
“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.
“It is time for Micheál Martin’s Government to introduce an emergency rescue plan for Irish aviation and tourism.
Very soon we’ll all be able to travel again🏖️
So we asked our customers who they're most looking forward to heading away with🧳
Here's some of our favourite responses💬 pic.twitter.com/fsL3Dq6Xj7
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) May 19, 2021
“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 Tuesday and to and from the EU from July 1st.”
The Department of Transport has been contacted for comment.