Ryanair forces South Africans to prove nationality

Image: Rob Ostvegel

Ryanair, South African travelers traveling to the UK, must test in Africa and prove their nationality. Europe’s largest budget airline has imposed the measure to prevent the use of fake South African passports.

The questionnaire contains fifteen general knowledge questions about South Africa, including what is the capital of the country and what is the highest mountain. “If they fail to complete the questionnaire, their trip will be canceled and they will be reimbursed in full,” Ryanair said in a statement.

Ryanair does not operate flights to and from South Africa on its own, and this test applies to all South African passengers flying to the UK from another part of Europe. The British High Commission in South Africa has stated on Twitter that it does not require the British government to enter the UK.

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News of the move had already provoked strong reactions on social media in South Africa last weekend. Alex Macheras, an independent aviation analyst, said it was “totally crazy and discriminatory”. Afrikaans is spoken by only 12 percent of the population and is a tradition of Dutch immigrants in the 17th century. Language is identified with racism and white minorities in the country.

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