Thursday, 9 March 2017

Brexit, airlines' worst fear, has become their preoccupation.......

There is no shortage of metaphors for what airlines expect from Brexit: analysts talk of crosswinds, executives fear turbulence. For some, it is simply flying into thick fog with no idea where they are going to land.

No airline wanted Britain to vote leave in last year’s referendum; easyJet and Ryanair campaigned against it. A single European market in aviation brought cheap flights spanning the continent, ever more passengers, trade and jobs. Why would they jeopardise that?




Now, Brexit is a huge preoccupation for airlines operating in and out of the UK – and airports, whose health is largely contingent on the success of short-haul European travel. Most obviously affected are the British low-cost airline easyJet and Dublin-based Ryanair, whose main market is the UK. Their share prices were hammered by the referendum: easyJet’s dropped by a third, wiping £2bn off its value in four days. They face, at the least, uncertainty, bureaucratic headaches and a runway of costly red tape.

The worst-case scenario of planes unable to fly between Britain and Europe is one that few foresee. But the legal framework underpinning international flights, wrapped up in EU membership, is set to disappear.

Dame Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet, says: “We don’t know what’s going to happen. We are spending a lot of time working with the commission and the government to say we believe a liberal and deregulated aviation market is in the interest of every single aviation passenger in Europe.”

Full report in The Guardian newspaper. 

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