Ryanair Chief Executive: 'The UK’s Divorce From the European Union Could Cause Major Disruption to Flights From March 2019'
The UK’s divorce from the European Union could cause major disruption to flights from March 2019 as Brexit talks proceed, Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O’Leary has warned, according to metro.co.uk.
Airlines say airlines would need a new deal to replace the current ‘Open Skies’ arrangement by September or October next year in order to provide scheduled flights in the months after Britain leaves the EU.
But O’Leary said initial signs from Brexit talks were not promising and that likely EU demands for any new deal – including oversight by the European Court of Justice – would likely be unpalatable to London.
‘It’s odds against a deal being done in advance of Christmas 2018, because it is in the Europeans’ interest to not have a deal done… and all hell will be kicking off over here in the UK,’ he added.
O’Leary was speaking after talks with British Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, which he described as ‘a very good meeting’.
However, he said did not share Grayling’s optimism that organising an aviation deal by the end of 2018 would be straightforward.
‘We believe the French and the German airlines in particular are actively negotiating against any favourable deal,’ O’Leary said.
The firm have been warning that a failure by London and Brussels to agree a new bilateral aviation deal by late 2018 could lead to a total freeze on flights between Britain and the European Union since January.
Without a specific deal, it#s like airlines would move bases out of Britain in favour of other EU countries to continue flying.
Britain formally began negotiations to leave the European Union in June, but little progress has been made towards an agreement on issues such as citizens’ rights, which are first on the agenda before sectoral issues like aviation are discussed.
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