Ryanair has dropped a requirement for South African passengers to prove their nationality before travelling by completing a test in Afrikaans, Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said after the policy drew a backlash among South Africans.
The South African government said last week it was taken aback by the low cost carrier’s decision to force UK-bound travelers holding the country’s passport to take the test, calling the move a “backward profiling system”.
“The South African government have acknowledged that there’s a problem with the vast number of false or fake South African passports,” O’Leary told a news conference in Brussels, citing a surge in false South African passports on a route between Turkey and Ireland.
“Our team issued a test in Afrikaans of 12 simple questions like what’s the name of the mountain outside Pretoria? They have no difficulty completing that, but we’ve we didn’t think it was appropriate either. So we have ended the Afrikaans test because doesn’t make any sense.”