Ryanair has urged the UK government to place aviation at the top of negotiations with the European Union and draw up a viable plan if it wishes to retain its role as a major flying hub following Brexit in 2019. On Wednesday, March 29, Westminster triggered Article 50, which includes the rules for exit from the EU.
The Irish low-cost carrier said the UK stands to lose its air links leaving it without any flights to/from Europe as of March 2019, when it exits the EU.
“If you don’t see a solution by March 2019 there’s now the distinct possibility that for a number of months there may be no flying between the UK and Europe until a new deal is put together,” Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs told Bloomberg TV.
”The best we can hope for is a new bilateral agreement between the UK and EU, however, we worry that Britain may not be able to negotiate such a bilateral deal in time for the release by airlines of summer 2019 schedules in mid-2018,’’ he added.
According to Jacobs, of the 200 million people entering and leaving the UK each year, 150 million are Europeans, while 80 percent of UK holidaymakers travel to Europe.
EU officials have already warned airlines headquartered in the UK, including easyJet and Ryanair, that they will have to set up shop in the EU and sell off shares to European nationals if they wish to continue running major routes across Europe following Brexit.