No Brexit deal would ‘not stop flying’

By Lee Hayhurst and Juliet Dennis

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren is confident there will be no disruption to flying from the UK, even if no Brexit deal is agreed, but demanded clarity from politicians.

Speaking at a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast, he said he had received verbal assurances from Westminster and Brussels that there would be no impact to aviation after March 29.

But he said a legal framework needed to be agreed now, with the annual “major booking period” approaching, so carriers can plan for the post-Brexit period.

“We are supportive of a deal on aviation [being agreed] but even if there is no deal, the European Commission and Westminster have said they would be supportive of protecting traffic routes between the UK and Europe,” said Lundgren.

“We are speaking to everyone we can get hold of in Westminster and Brussels to say that they need to clarify that in a legal text, so we know what we have to play with. I remain convinced that there won’t be any disruption to flying.”

As MPs prepared to start five days of debate on Brexit, Lundgren said a “number of scenarios” may unfold if Theresa May’s deal was voted down on December 11.

Lundgren, who revealed he was spending a third of his time dealing with officials on Brexit, said “everyone agrees” on the “consequences” of a no-deal Brexit and that flying should be protected. “There’s no downside to agreeing the legal text,” he said.

Last week, Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said a transition period, during which current rules remain until the end of 2020, would give the trade time to put long-term deals in place. He warned of “short-term disruption” in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Abta has published no-deal guidance for members relating to passports, health and car insurance, driving licences, taking pets abroad, data roaming, flights, visas and holiday cancellations.

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