Ryanair Introduces Language Test for Passengers from South Africa

Ryanair has been hit by a flurry of social media criticism, accusations of discrimination and racism – the Irish airline is conducting tests on general knowledge about the culture, history of South Africa and the Afrikaans language for citizens of this country flying to the UK.

All South Africans travelling on flights to the UK must prove their nationality by taking a test in the Afrikaans language.

The management of Europe’s largest low-cost airline confirmed that this was its initiative. The reason, as stated by Ryanair, is a large number of fake documents. Any airline found to have taken a passenger to the UK on a fake passport faces a fine of £2,000 ($2,500) from the UK authorities.

South Africa has 11 official languages and Ryanair has not explained why it chose Afrikaans. Only around 13% of South Africans speak Afrikaans as a first language. 

Anyone who fails the test is refused travel and refunded the cost of their ticket.

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