Flights 'will go ahead' in case of no-deal Brexit

Passengers have been told to book flights to the European Union “with confidence” after the UK government confirmed detailed plans to ensure continuity in the air in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

British airlines will be able to continue flying to Europe.
British airlines will be able to continue flying to Europe.

Airlines based in an EU country will be able to continue flights between the continent and the UK after Brexit following a new agreement, the UK Government said. New measures will reciprocate to EU airlines the rights granted to UK airlines by the regulation.

This announcement comes as the EU is also about to finalise its no-deal aviation regulation that will protect UK airlines flying into Europe. The European Parliament is due to vote next Wednesday to approve the legislation. Initially the European Commission said flights for this year would be capped at summer 2018 levels in a no-deal, however it has now been confirmed that this has been removed from the final legislation.

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The measures will mean that around 164 million passengers who travel between the UK and the EU each year will be able to continue to take business and leisure flights in a no deal scenario.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA – The Travel Association - said: “Today’s announcement provides further assurance that, whatever the outcome of Brexit, travellers can continue to book holidays and business trips with confidence.

“Europe is the most popular holiday destination for UK travellers with 58 million trips made to the continent each year. More than three in five people are planning to take a trip to Europe this year, so travellers will be pleased to see the final confirmation from the UK on their ability to fly even in the event of a no-deal.”

He added: “It’s worth remembering that if the UK and the EU agree a deal, we will be in a transition period and everything will stay the same for travel until the end of 2020 – meaning people can continue to travel to the EU exactly as they do now.

Aviation minister Baroness Sugg said: “Measures put forward by the UK and the EU will ensure that flights can continue in any scenario; deal or no deal. This is good news, not only for the industry but most importantly it reaffirms the fact that passengers can book flights with confidence, as normal.

“We expect these contingency measures will never be needed and our efforts remain focused on securing a deal from the EU.”