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24 Dec, 2020 14:52

The future of Covid-era budget air travel? Ryanair promotes ‘jab & go’ summer flights

The future of Covid-era budget air travel? Ryanair promotes ‘jab & go’ summer flights

Ryanair has stirred up social media with an advertisement suggesting that the joy of international travel is just a quick jab away, after the company previously said Covid-19 vaccines would not be required to fly with them. 

The website of the Irish low-cost airline currently features a promotion which blissfully declares: “Book summer, vaccines are coming.” The ad features a gloved hand holding a syringe and an ubiquitous vial labeled “vaccine,” captioned by the rather blunt catchphrase: “Jab & go!”

Although the advert could be interpreted as a hassle-free vaccination service offered by the budget airline, there doesn’t appear to be any information pointing to one-stop jab-and-fly packages. Clicking on the banner’s link takes you to a page listing discounted prices for tickets to destinations across Europe starting in April, but it does include a list of Covid-19 test sites in Ireland. Booking of the low-cost flights also doesn’t appear to provide information about any kind of vaccine ‘deal’.

Also on rt.com Singapore Airlines launches ‘Covid-19 passport,’ describing digital health ID as part of the ‘new normal’

The gimmick caught the eye of Twitter users who seemed both amused and disgusted by the promotion.

“Ryanair out Ryanair-ing themselves with this website splash,” one observer wrote of the ad. 

Others said the promotion was a deal-breaker. 

“People shouldn't need a vaccine to travel with you,” one upset flyer tweeted at the airline’s press office.

Anger over the ad, whatever its intentions may be, is perhaps understandable. The airline signaled last month that it saw no need to make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for travelers, arguing that such a measure wouldn’t be “relevant” for short-haul flights in Europe. 

Airlines have already begun to roll out Covid-19 ‘passports’ used to verify a passenger’s test results and vaccine status for the virus. On Wednesday, Singapore Airlines became the first major carrier to begin trials of a digital health certificate developed by a major airline lobby, the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Several other airlines, including Australia’s Qantas, have said that the resumption of international travel will require some form of health passport. 

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