12 NOVEMBER 2018
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Suggestions that aircraft would be unable to fly once the UK left the EU if no air services agreement was reached were dismissed by easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren speaking at World Travel Market last week.
“I am confident there will be a deal on aviation,” he said. He added that in a worse-case scenario of no deal, “a bare bones agreement would kick in”.
“The detail of it remains to be seen, but we are assuming bare bones connectivity, nobody disagrees on that,” he said.
The easyJet stance was reinforced by chief operating officer Chris Browne, who said she was hopeful “common sense would prevail” and the “bare bones” of a Brexit deal would be in place by the end of next March.
As a back-up, the company has set up another airline, easyJet Europe, in Austria to protect its flying rights in the EU once Britain leaves.
Browne added: “This means we will retain our flying rights. We are pretty confident we are prepared so that come April Fools' Day we will be able to fly across Europe. It’s our insurance policy.
“I would not want to tell you the amount of work that has gone into our post-Brexit structure … we cannot underestimate the impact this is having on our global workforce. It is very unsettling for our crew.”
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Allan Schoenherr, Prague, Czech Republic
Yet again the true impact of Brexit rears it head. No mention of this brave new world, of taking back control or opening up to the global market. Far from it, now its about tightening belts and expecting a short, sharp recession, and for aviation bare-bones connectivity. Amusing to see BTN try to put a positive spin on this.
Stan Abbott, UK/Durham
Your headline on this is disningenuous, but then in your crazed pro-Brexit world, it would be... the piece makes it very clear that only by dint of a hell of a lot of contingency preparation is easyJet able to say with confidence that it will keep flying if the UK "falls off the cliff". If just one of you can tell me precisely why Brexit is such a good idea for aviation or any other sector of UK industry, drinks are on me.
David Starkie, London
I guess a bare bones situation would be a fall back to the old bi-laterals which I believe are still in place apart from UK-Spain.