Iata issues no-deal Brexit warning

A no deal Brexit could lead to a cap on flights that will stunt important economic opportunities and may lead to higher prices for consumers, Iata warned.

The proposed guidance from the EU Commission in the event of ‘no deal’ calls for the current level of flights between the UK and the EU to be maintained, but does not allow for an increase in flight numbers in 2019 compared to last year.

Iata research estimates that up to five million extra seats are scheduled for 2019 over last year in order to meet consumer demand.

Many of these will be in the peak summer season when families will be booking holidays.

But these will be at risk if a ‘no deal’ Brexit occurs, according to Iata.

This is leading to uncertainty for both travellers and airlines over post-Brexit air connectivity.

The aviation body was responding to a heightened likelihood of the UK exiting the European Union with no agreement after MPs overwhelmingly rejected prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday night.

Iata director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: “That current flight levels will be protected even with a hard Brexit is an important assurance.

“But with two months left until Britain leaves the EU, airlines still do not know exactly what kind of Brexit they should be planning for.

“And there is legal and commercial uncertainty over how the Commission’s plan to cap flight numbers will work.

“In the small window remaining before Brexit it is imperative that the EU and UK prioritise finding a solution that brings certainty to airlines planning growth to meet demand and to travellers planning business trips and family holidays.”

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