European airlines warn of ‘disastrous’ no-deal Brexit

European airlines have warned that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit for the UK could have “disastrous consequences for the aviation industry, including the grounding of many flights across EU countries and the UK”.
A letter from the European Regions Airlines Association (ERA) has urged the  European Commission, the Brussels-based EU legislative arm, to take “necessary measures” in advance of Brexit when the UK exits the EU in March 2019. The letter also highlights the need “to prevent serious harm” to European connectivity.
ERA, working on behalf of its 205 members – including 50 airlines – highlighted that there would be a significant impact on many other critical areas of aviation, such as air services agreements, aviation safety and security, border management and environment.
ERA director general Montserrat Barriga said: “Now is the time to definitively confirm a reciprocal comprehensive agreement that protects the established pillars of European aviation.
“ERA’s position on Brexit remains to ensure open and free traffic rights for all EU and UK carriers between the EU and the UK, that European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations continue to apply to UK carriers and that the EU and UK carriers can continue to freely lease aircraft to each other.”
Andrew Kelly, president of ERA, added: “Even if there is a deal, there is a lack of clarity about EU ownership rules that could potentially ground big and small airlines alike, unless there is some form of moratorium.
“Yet, we get the sense from the politicians and officials that on the morning of March 30, the aviation industry will wake up and go to work as usual, even if there is a hard Brexit. It won’t, it can’t and the UK and EU need to wake up to that fact now, before it’s too late.”

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