Ryanair calls for aviation to top Brexit negotiations agenda
Ryanair has called on the UK Government to put aviation at the forefront of its negotiations with the EU.
The airline said that the UK Government needs to provide a coherent post-Brexit plan and put aviation at the top of its agenda when it negotiates its Brexit deal or it risks leaving the UK without any flights to and from Europe for a period from March 2019, when it exits the EU.
With the UK set to leave Europe’s “Open Skies” system, the UK Government will either have to negotiate a bilateral agreement with the EU to allow flights to and from Europe to continue, or else revert to WTO rules.
Under WTO rules aviation is not covered, thereby raising the distinct possibility of no flights between Europe and the UK for a period from March 2019 in the absence of a bilateral deal, a Ryanair spokesperson said.
“Some 9 months on from the Brexit referendum, we are no closer to knowing what effect it will have on aviation. It’s become worrying that the UK Government seems to have no plan B to maintain Britain’s liberalised air links with Europe, in the absence of remaining in the “Open Skies” regime”, Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer said.
“Ryanair, like all airlines, plans its flights 12 months in advance, so there are just 12 months to go until we finalise our summer 2019 schedule, which could see deep cuts to our flights both to, from, and within the UK from March 2019 onwards”, he went on to say.
Ryanair, which employs over 3,000 UK staff and will carry over 44m customers to and from British airports this year has already pivoted growth away from the UK to other EU airports, basing no additional aircraft at its 19 UK airports in 2017 and cutting its growth rate from 15pc to just 6pc this year.