The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that, although most passengers’ flights will go ahead despite the decision of UK Members of Parliament to reject the UK-EU Brexit agreement, there remains an uncertainty for both travellers and airlines about post-Brexit air connectivity.
A ‘no deal’ Brexit could lead to a cap on flights that will stunt important economic opportunities and may lead to higher prices for consumers. The proposed guidance from the EU Commission in the event of ‘no deal’ calls for the current level of flights between the UK and the EU to be maintained, but does not allow for an increase in flight numbers in 2019 compared to 2018.
IATA research estimates that up to 5 million extra seats are scheduled for 2019 compared to 2018 in order to meet consumer demand. Many of these will be in the peak Summer season when families will be booking holidays. These are at risk if a ‘no deal’ Brexit occurs.
“That current flight levels will be protected even with a hard Brexit is an important assurance. But with two months left until Britain leaves the EU, airlines still do not know exactly what kind of Brexit they should be planning for. And there is legal and commercial uncertainty over how the Commission’s plan to cap flight numbers will work. In the small window remaining before Brexit it is imperative that the EU and UK prioritize finding a solution that brings certainty to airlines planning growth to meet demand and to travellers planning business trips and family holidays,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.