The British Government’s Department for Transport and Civil Aviation Authority is confirming details to reassure the travel industry and travelers that airline operations in the U.K. will continue as usual in the event of a no-deal Brexit outcome this month. The announcement came as the EU is also about to finalize its no-deal aviation regulation protecting British airlines flying into Europe.
The document, released by the government, said: “Both the UK and EU have repeatedly said that in the event of the UK leaving without a withdrawal agreement, flights would continue. In September 2018, the government published a technical notice which set out that the UK would take a pragmatic approach and envisaged granting member state airlines with permission to operate. This was in the expectation that EU countries would reciprocate and give UK airlines permission to operate.”
The draft regulation is expected to stay in effect for a year and sunset in March 2020, but the rights it provides to UK airlines depend on the UK granting equivalent rights to airlines from EU countries.
“This statement sets out the UK position on reciprocity of rights for airlines from EU countries, and the basis on which flights will continue for this period, during which time negotiations will be undertaken on permanent future air services arrangements. The government intends to issue separate guidance to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on the application of this policy to the granting of foreign carriers permits,” the document notes.
“Travelers planning their 2019 holidays, family visits and business trips can rest assured that there will be no disruption to their flights, whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. This comes on top of the important steps the UK Government has taken in concluding UK bilateral agreements with non-EU countries like the U.S. and Canada where we currently fly to under an EU-level agreement. While an orderly transition period remains airports’ top priority, the announcement, alongside the EU’s no-deal contingency regulations, should reassure passengers that the UK’s essential air connectivity will continue to operate.”
British Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg, added, “This is good news, not only for the industry but most importantly it reaffirms the fact that passengers can book flights with confidence, as normal,” according to a report from Business Traveller U.K. “Measures put forward by the UK and the EU will ensure that flights can continue in any scenario; deal or no deal.”
According to the announcement, around 164 million passengers travel between Britain and the EU each year.