Saturday 10 December 2016

UK wants to keep 'liberal access' to European airspace following Brexit

Published 15/11/2016 | 02:30

David Davies minister for Brexit listens to a speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet, at the Guildhall, London. Photo: Reuters
David Davies minister for Brexit listens to a speech at the Lord Mayor's Banquet, at the Guildhall, London. Photo: Reuters

The UK government wants to maintain "liberal access" to European aviation markets, despite planning to leave the EU by 2019, according to Brexit minister David Davis.

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He met aviation executives from companies including Ryanair, Easyjet and Aer Lingus owner IAG at London City Airport yesterday to hear their concerns regarding Brexit.

While Mr Davis, the UK's Aviation Minister Lord Ahmad, and the chief executive of Airlines UK, Tim Aldersale, insisted that Brexit presents opportunities, the impact of the UK's decision to leave the EU and sterling's associated slump has already cast a pall over airlines including Easyjet, Ryanair and IAG-owned British Airways.

"Market access remains a top priority, and we want to make sure we have liberal access to European aviation markets," the three airlines said in their statement.

"We will also work closely to explore new opportunities for further liberalisation. We are clear that Brexit provides greater freedom to seek new agreements between the UK and some third countries."

They said that those agreements could include bilateral agreements to strengthen ties with countries such as the US and Canada.

The EU already has an open skies agreement with the United States, but the UK will now have to negotiate its own deal with America.

Brexit also means that Easyjet, for example, has to secure an air operator certificate in another EU country to ensure it can continue to offer services in the region as an EU carrier.

"We will work closely together to ensure that this international industry continues to be a major success story for the UK economy - contributing around £20bn in 2014 alone - and better understand what risks and opportunities exist," the trio added following the meeting at London City, Airport, which is run by former DAA chief executive Declan Collier.

Irish Independent

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