UK airport chaos due to Brexit ‘shambles’: Ryanair boss
Written by on June 14, 2022
Air travel chaos in Britain is purely down to Brexit “shambles” by hobbling recruitment at airports, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said on Tuesday.
The CEO of Europe’s biggest airline also dismissed threats of summer strike action by what he called “Mickey Mouse” unions in Belgium and Spain covering some Ryanair workers.
And he said his company has dropped a controversial pre-boarding questionnaire for South African passport holders requiring them to answer questions in Afrikaans — a language commonly used by just 12 percent of South Africans, many of them white.
O’Leary said Britain’s decision to pursue a hardline departure from the European Union that put a halt to EU workers filling jobs is largely why it was difficult to quickly ramp up recruitment for ground and security staff at UK passports.
Airports and airlines in several countries, including in the EU and the US, have struggled to cope with surging numbers of travellers, many of them keen to fly after months or years of being grounded because of Covid restrictions.
He added that, while the airline had been asking South African passport holders to answer local general knowledge and geographical questions in Afrikaans, it got rid of the questionnaire.
South Africa’s government had called the test “backward profiling”.
Afrikaans is just one of 11 official languages in South Africa, and it played a role in the oppression of black citizens during apartheid.