EU flights could cease to operate from UK unless a Brexit air service deal can be agreed, Brussels has confirmed.

The statement on the ability for UK flights to operate in Europe should no deal be reached is cause for great concern, the British pilots union warned.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association has repeatedly called for clarity on how flights will operate post-Brexit and says that a no deal is “not an option”.

The notice from the EU Commission’s directorate-general for mobility and transport states: “Air carriers of the United Kingdom will no longer enjoy traffic rights under any air transport agreement to which the Union is a party, be it to or from the territory of the United Kingdom, be it to or from the territory of any of the EU member states.”

Balap general secretary Brian Strutton said: “Here it is in black and white from the EU Commission – UK flights to the EU will be grounded in March 2019 should no agreement be reached.

“We need the UK government to sort air traffic rights now. Once again, no deal is not an option.”