EU Official: Clock Ticking On Post-Brexit Flights

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On Friday, an official of the European Union said that there is still a possibility that flights will not be able to take place the day after the planned departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union that is set to take place next year.

The director general for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission, Henrik Hololei, said that the clock was ticking and that the impacts on aviation could be significant after the exit day on March 29, 2019.

During a CAPA Centre for Aviation conference that was held in Dublin, Hololei stated: “The possibility still exists that on day one no flights operate. It hasn’t disappeared.”

He added: “One thing is clear, is that this is a very sad chapter currently being written.”

Hololei added that before any negotiations could be specifically done on aviation or any other sector, the overall framework of the departure of the United Kingdom had to first be agreed.

The CEO of British-Airways owner IAG, Willie Walsh, said that it was important to remember that the question regarding the flights was not only a problem for the United Kingdom, but also for the rest of the European Union.

He stated: “(Ryanair CEO) Michael O’Leary portrays this as people in the UK won’t be able to fly. But it’s people in Europe that won’t be able to fly.” He was referring to the repeated warnings that were made by the Ryanair boss that flights could be grounded in March 2019.

Walsh also said that he was confident that the United States and the United Kingdom would be able to reach a new agreements on traffic rights that are covering flights between the two countries, although he said that it may be slightly different to the Open Skies deal between Britain and the United States, in light of more protectionist noises that are coming out of the United States.