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Brexit: No flights between UK and EU?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Although Brexit’s outcome, with the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, isn’t until March 2019, Ryanair is already fearing the worst and might stop flying to Europe altogether. Michael O’Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, states:

There is a real prospect, and we need to deal with this, that there are going to be no flights between the UK and Europe for a period of weeks, months beyond March 2019.

The Open Skies accord, which allows EU carriers to operate in each other’s countries, would namely no longer apply to British airlines upon Brexit’s finalisation. O’Leary also notes that the chances of an interim agreement coming into fruition is highly unlikely. British airlines would presumably have to cancel various people’s holidays during this period. Additionally, as the UK would not form a part of the EU, domestic flights or flights to other non-EU destinations would no longer be eligible for EC 261/2004 compensation.

While the complete situation remains unclear, Ryanair is already planning ahead and is expected to take several of their fleet out of Britain by April 2019 and relocating these to numerous provincial airports across Europe.