Saturday 16 February 2019

Aer Lingus boss confident of ‘business as usual’ in no-deal Brexit

Chief executive Sean Doyle said the airline does not anticipate any disruption to flights would take off after March 29.

People view an Aer Lingus A330 displaying the new branding during the official unveiling at Dublin Airport (Brian Lawless/PA)
People view an Aer Lingus A330 displaying the new branding during the official unveiling at Dublin Airport (Brian Lawless/PA)

By Aoife Moore, Press Association

The boss of Aer Lingus has said the airline does not anticipate any disruption to flights in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking in Dublin on Thursday at the launch of the airline’s new branding, chief executive Sean Doyle said he was confident that flights would take off on March 30, just as they had on March 29.

“In any scenario we’re confident we’ll fly beyond the 29th of March, and we have plans and have prepared for that, and we’re in dialogue with the authorities that we need to,” Mr Doyle said.

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Aer Lingus chief executive Sean Doyle speaking at the unveiling of the airline’s new branding at Dublin Airport (Brian Lawless/PA)

“In terms of the wider effect, my guess is as good as anybody’s and I wouldn’t like to speculate.

“We’ll continue flying as we have done, I think air travel will carry on and Aer Lingus, as well as other IAG carriers, will carry on business as usual.”

International Airlines Group (IAG) is one of the world’s largest airline groups, and the holding company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.

IAG has previously said it is confident it will comply with EU and UK ownership and control rules post-Brexit.

The EU has told airlines they must be 50% EU-owned to retain flying rights across the Continent after the UK leaves the EU.

Mr Doyle said he shared the holding company’s optimism, and that Aer Lingus would pass the test in order to keep its flights on schedule.

“I fully share IAG confidence. I think, if you look at the legislation, the draft in either scenario, it really understands the importance of continuity of air travel.

“We’re fully confident. Air travel is fundamental for the economy and everybody appreciates that, that’s coming across clearly,” he added.

IAG argues that Aer Lingus and its other carriers have long-established air operator certificates, a large domestic workforce and substantial businesses in their native countries, rather than being part of a bigger group that is majority-owned by non-EU investors.

Ireland’s premier, Leo Varadkar, said on Wednesday that Ireland’s “contingency” plans for a no-deal Brexit were no longer theoretical, and the country was now actively making preparations for Britain to crash out of the EU with no set withdrawal plan in place.

Press Association

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