The Irish passport now ranks sixth on a list of the world’s most powerful, alongside those of France, Portugal and the UK.
he Henley Passport Index, using data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), ranks passports according to the number of destinations their holders can travel to without a visa or with a visa on arrival.
Japan topped the list for another consecutive year, allowing its holders access to 193 destinations without a visa or the need for one to be issued prior to departure.
Singapore and South Korea shared second place with 192 points.
EU member states filled the remaining top 10 spots with Germany and Spain sharing third place with visa-free access to 190 countries.
Finland, Italy and Luxembourg follow in fourth place with 189 destinations, and Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden are fifth with their pass holders having access to 188 destinations.
The 10 most powerful passes
- Singapore and South Korea
- Germany and Spain
- Finland, Italy and Luxembourg
- Austria, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden
- France, Ireland, Portugal and Great Britain
- Belgium, New Zealand, USA, Switzerland and Norway
- Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Malta and Greece
- Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia
Ireland, the UK and the US all dropped a spot in the latest ranking, with the Irish passport granting holders access to 187 countries.
The latest index comes as travel in Europe and North America has recovered to about 60 percent of pre-pandemic travel mobility levels, according to the Henley Global Mobility Report.
“The latest Henley Passport Index results are an encouraging reminder of the very human desire for global connectivity even as some countries move toward isolation and self-sufficiency,” said Dr. Christian H. Kaelin, Chairman of Henley & Partners.
Despite staff shortages and disruptions in the US and Europe, Dr. Marie Owens Thomsen, chief economist at IATA, said passenger numbers should reach 83 percent of pre-pandemic levels in 2022.
“By next year, traffic in many markets should be at or above pre-pandemic levels, while we expect that to be the case for the industry as a whole in 2024,” she said.
However, international passenger demand in Asia-Pacific has only reached 17 percent of pre-Covid levels, according to the latest statistics from IATA.
“The shock of the pandemic has been unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes, and restoring and reclaiming our freedom to travel and our innate instinct to move and migrate will take time,” added Dr. added Kaelin.
Afghanistan remains at the bottom of the index as its nationals can travel visa-free to only 27 destinations worldwide.
“Russian passport holders are more cut off than ever from the rest of the world,” the index said, as sanctions, travel bans and airspace closures limit citizens’ travel options following the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian passport is in 50th place with 119 points.
The Ukrainian passport ranks higher, currently ranked 35th, with holders gaining access to 144 destinations around the world without requiring a visa in advance.
Under an emergency plan, Ukrainians were granted the right to live and work in the EU for up to three years.
– Additional reporting by Pól Ó Conghaile
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-news/revealed-where-the-irish-passport-ranks-among-worlds-most-powerful-41854180.html Revealed: Where the Irish passport ranks among the most powerful in the world