UK airlines “have faith” in the government securing access to the EU aviation market post-Brexit, a senior aviation industry representative has told MPs.

Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade told the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee on Tuesday: “We want the government to negotiate early access to the EU [open skies] agreement. We need to hold the government’s feet to the fire on this.

“We have no fall-back option. Aviation is not part of the World Trade Organisation.”

However, he told a select committee hearing on the impact of Brexit on tourism: “We have faith in the ability of the government to maintain market access.”

Alderslade said: “The options are we remain as a member of the single aviation market, or we have a bilateral agreement with the EU on the lines of Switzerland or we have some transitional arrangement.

“My sense is aviation single market access will be a no go because countries subscribed to it have to accept free movement of people.”

He said: “I’m confident they see this as a priority across Whitehall. We’re the third largest aviation market in the world. That connectivity is vital for us, but vital for the EU as well.

“It is a technical problem. I wouldn’t want to give the impression we’re really worried.”

Thomas Cook head of head of public affairs Stephen D’Alfonso told the committee: “I agree the government will deliver. For now, it’s business as usual.”

When it was suggested Spain could block an aviation agreement without a deal with the UK on Gibraltar, Alderslade said: “They have blocked packages in Brussels before, but given the number of people who go to Spain [from Britain} you would hope we could come to some agreement.”

He added: “There is no sense in Brussels that they want to penalise Britain on aviation.”

D’Alfonso agreed, saying: “11 million Brits went to Spain in 2016. There are clear benefits for both sides with aviation.”

Asked about the impact of Brexit on holiday prices, D’Alfonso said: “The impact this year will be quite limited. About 80% of our currency and fuel costs were hedged [for this year]. We’re used to managing currency fluctuations.”

Jeremy Osborne, Tui director of strategic innovation and business change, told the MPs: “There is a pressure on our cost base, but we’re used to dealing with global issues so it’s not something we’re overly concerned with. We buy a lot of currency in advance.

“Prices for this summer are up about 8%. There is an expectation people will spend a bit more for holidays next year.”

Asked what else concerns Tui, Osborne said: “We would not want border controls to be restrictive for customers or for our staff.”

D’Alfonso agreed: “We don’t want to see barriers to travel. We like the status quo.” Yet he added: “There is a precedent for a light-touch border regime in the visa-waiver process in the US and Canada.”

Alderslade told MPs: “It is vital the UK Border Force is given the resources it needs.”

The select committee includes Nigel Huddleston MP, former Google head of travel.