Ryanair chief financial officer, Neil Sorahan, has warned that airlines may have to suspend flights between the UK and the EU for ‘weeks or months’ if Brexit negotiations on international aviation result in no agreement.
Mr. Sorahan made his comments to the Guardian newspaper.
“In the worst-case scenario there will be no flights in or out of the UK to Europe for a period, for all carriers,” said Mr. Sorahan.
In 1992, the Member States of the European Union agreed to create a single market in air transport. This meant liberalising aviation and allowing all European Community airlines to fly passengers and goods throughout the EU. All airlines established inside the EU have equal rights under the law to operate air services from their home base. European airlines are also entitled to establish operations anywhere in the EU on the same terms as local airlines. The aviation single market is predicated on the EU’s principles of freedom of movement for EU citizens and relies on the European Court of Justice as its final arbiter. Given that these are key areas where disagreement between the UK and the EU is likely to occur, it is a key area for negotiations.
Businesses, especially those who regularly import and export goods to and from Europe by air, are advised to watch this area carefully as Brexit negotiations unfold. If no agreement on aviation is in place towards the close of negotiations in 2019 then contingency plans will need to be made to ensure supply chain continuity and to deal with the product shortages which could develop.