No-deal Brexit puts 5 million new airline seats at risk

Travel news

No-deal Brexit puts 5 million new airline seats at risk

By
22 January 2019

By | 22 January 2019

UK leaving the EU without an agreement could lead to cap on flights and higher prices for customers

With Brexit is about to become a reality in just two months, the conditions for passengers travelling between the United Kingdom and the European Union remain unclear.

A no-deal scenario of Brexit could stop an increase in flight numbers in 2019 compared to 2018 — 1000 Words / Shutterstock No-deal Brexit puts 5 million new airline seats at risk Group Created with Sketch. A no-deal scenario of Brexit could stop an increase in flight numbers in 2019 compared to 2018 — 1000 Words / Shutterstock

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), current flights should be protected, despite the decision of UK members of parliament to reject the proposed agreement. However, a no-deal scenario could stop an increase in flight numbers in 2019 compared to 2018. This is in spite of airlines already selling tickets for 2019 routes.

“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 said in a statement.  

The aviation trade association estimates that up to five million extra seats are scheduled for 2019 compared to 2018 in order to meet consumer demand. Many of these will be in the peak summer season when families will be booking holidays. These are at risk if a no agreement scenario of Brexit occurs.

“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.” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.   

“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.”