Brexit will leave fewer Britons able to afford to fly, the boss of Europe’s third largest low-cost carrier has warned.
Norwegian chief executive Bjorn Kjos said the dramatic slump in the pound since the referendum to leave the European Union a year ago would inevitably “weaken” passenger traffic.
“Most of the passengers flying to Spain from Birmingham and Manchester are pensioners and their income will not go up,” he told the Mail on Sunday. “And the pound is going down and that will make it more expensive for them to travel.”
Kjos also cautioned that some EU-based airlines might have to stop operating UK internal flights, even before Brexit – echoing of a similar warning from Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary.
Speaking on board a Norwegian Air flight from Seattle to Oslo with its first long-range Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, Kjos said he thought the UK would probably be happy for EU-based airlines to fly within the UK.
But EU airlines might object to UK carriers operating flights within Continental countries.
“I think the UK would say ‘yes’ to EU airlines within the UK domestic market because they are very open-minded,” he said.
“But some EU member states would try to block it so then why should the UK allow it on their side? That is not fair and they would have to retaliate.
“In the worst case it would revert to country by country agreements, but that would favour the UK because they have bilateral agreements with virtually every state in the world.”
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