Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Planes grounded for up to three weeks if there is a no deal Brexit..........

STOP PRESS, hold the front page, don't press 'post now' just yet,  the boss of one of the largest airlines in Europe has issued a dire warning that planes could be grounded for up to three weeks in the event of a no deal Brexit!

This would be major news, it would lead all the news bulletins had the boss uttering those supremely pessimistic words not been Michael O'Leary, the aggressive boss of low-cost airline Ryanair.  

O'Leary has a long history of bashing Brexit and urging on the most pessimistic of predictions in the event of a no deal scenario. Back in September, he warned flights would be grounded for between a couple of days or a couple of weeks, all this, his latest outburst, made in Brussels on Wednesday, October 17th, does is extend the period of the grounding of flights could face. In August 2017 he said the UK was in denial over aviation. 

However, such a massive grounding of aircraft may have nothing to do with regulations or licencing, it could be because the airlines have chosen to voluntary ground the planes. O'Leary's said that his airline, Ryanair, may ground flights after Brexit anyway, just to teach voters a lesson and persuade them to "rethink" Brexit.  In an article in UK's Telegraph, it details how the outspoken CEO told the leaders of other European airlines, he wanted to "create an opportunity" for forcing Brexit supporters to learn they will "no longer going to have cheap holidays". Leading the call to other airlines to support a mass grounding of aircraft, he said: "I think it's in our interests - not for a long period of time - that the aircraft are grounded.". 

He wasn't alone in believing that the European airlines should punish the British for voting to leave the EU, Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr speaking at the same event said: "If we could use this industry to prove to the British how wrong the decision was, that might be a good thing."

More recently, Martin Gauss, the boss of Latvian state-controlled and financed airline Air Baltic intimated that the British people who voted in favour of leaving the European Union were too thick to understand what they were voting for, telling Alex Macheras  "let’s ask again if the people really want to go through with this’ because now the British people seem to understand what that really means.”

In an effort to mitigate the negative effects of a no deal Brexit on air travel between the UK and Europe, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority has been trying to hold talks with the European Aviation Safety Agency.   A spokesperson for the CAA recently said, "We call upon the European Commission to allow EASA to hold discussions with us about the detailed technical arrangements that would apply in a no-deal scenario. We are ready to start these talks immediately." However, the call has fallen on deaf ears as the EASA have said such talks while negotiations are on-going would be premature. 

There had been speculation recently that British pilots licences would no longer be valid after the UK leaves the EU, however, these have been quashed by Mark Swan, Group Director of Safety and Airspace Regulation. He said "UK pilot licences would remain valid for use on UK-registered aircraft as the United Kingdom is a signatory to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Chicago Convention. Our licences are internationally recognised - including by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) - both now and after 29 March 2019." 

(Images Ryanair / CAA)