Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary has stated that only vaccinated people should be allowed to fly and heavily criticized those who have not yet been vaccinated. After calling them “idiot” anti-vaxxers, O’Leary said he is not in favor of a mandatory vaccination program but, he says, governments should make life difficult for people who refuse vaccination without a valid reason. “If you’re not vaccinated, you shouldn’t be flying, you shouldn’t be on the London Underground and you shouldn’t be going into your local supermarket or your pharmacy,” he said to British newspaper The Telegraph.
O’Leary’s comments came after the Irish public was slapped with new restrictions for the festive season yesterday amid fears over the new Omicron variant. He criticized the British government for “sowing panic” around the omicron variant, saying that other European countries don’t seem to have the same concerns.
The consequence of such statements is that people are likely to fly less over the Christmas period.Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO
Ryanair has already been hit hard by the impact of the Omicron variant: it expects to fly around ten percent fewer passengers in December and January due to customer concerns. O’Leary says authorities should “make life difficult” for those who refuse the jab without good reason. He spoke of “mass hysteria” and “blind panic” over Omicron taking hold of people.
Speaking to The Telegraph, he said, “I don’t think governments should allow people who are not vaccinated to go and infect everyone else. You can sit at home and receive medicine and food deliveries. But you should not go to work or use public transportation unless you have a vaccination certificate.”
We recognize everyone’s right to choose not to be vaccinated if they wish. We respect their right to be an idiot.Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO
Speaking to The Times, he said he had no difficulty in saying to people that they could fly, but they had to be vaccinated. He went on to say that if people under 30 were told they can’t go into a bar, they would get vaccinated fairly quickly. “If you personally oppose vaccination because it is a big government, big pharma conspiracy, that’s fine. But the vast majority of the population who have done the sensible thing, the careful thing. They should not be restricted,” he concluded.