HomeTravelRyanair abandons controversial Afrikaans test for South African travelers

Ryanair abandons controversial Afrikaans test for South African travelers

(CNN) — Ryanair has confirmed that South Africans will now not should take an Afrikaans test to show their nationality earlier than boarding flights to the UK.

The low-cost airline is abandoning the controversial requirement after receiving an enormous backlash from South Africans, with some accusing Ryanair of racial discrimination.

The obvious U-turn was introduced by Michael O’Leary, chief govt of Ryanair, throughout a information convention in Brussels on Tuesday.

“We didn’t think it was appropriate either,” he instructed reporters when questioned in regards to the test, which was apparently launched on account of a surge in counterfeit South African passports. “So we have ended the Afrikaans test, because it doesn’t make any sense.”

O’Leary went on to state that, “South Africa needs to fix its problems.”

A spokesperson for Ryanair has since confirmed to CNN that O’Leary’s feedback relating to the removing of the test are correct.

News of the test, which featured questions associated to South African basic information, got here to public consideration in May after a passenger flying from Portugal tweeted that he’d been requested to finish “a two-page test in Afrikaans” earlier than being allowed to board his flight to London.

‘Backward profiling system’

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has introduced that the airline is dropping the requirement for South African travelers to take an Afrikaans test to show their nationality.

Eric Lalmand/BELGA/AFP/Getty Images

The transfer was closely criticized, with quite a few travelers taking to social media to emphasize that South Africa has 11 official languages, and an unlimited variety of nationals don’t communicate Afrikaans.

The South African authorities’s Department of Home Affairs slammed the test earlier this month, describing it as a “backward profiling system.”

Ryanair beforehand issued an announcement defending its determination to carry the test in as a result of “high prevalence” of counterfeit South African passports.

“In order to minimize the risk of fake passport usage, Ryanair requires passengers on a South African passport to fill out a simple questionnaire in the Afrikaans language,” the corporate mentioned.

“If they are unable to complete this questionnaire, they will be refused travel and issued with a full refund instead.

“Airlines working to the UK face Home Office fines of £2,000 (round $2,515) per passenger for anybody who travels illegally to the UK on a fraudulent passport/visa.”

Afrikaans is the third most spoken language in the country after Zulu and Xhosa.

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