Published on : Wednesday, March 29, 2017
The Dublin based company, which operates more than 1,800 flights to over 200 destinations in 33 countries daily, urged the UK Government in a statement to put aviation at the forefront of its negotiations with the EU and provide a coherent post-Brexit plan.
The airline said in a statement that, with the UK set to Europe’s “Open Skies” system, the UK Government will either have to negotiate a bilateral agreement with the EU to allow flights to and from Europe to continue, or else revert to the previous WTO roles, which do not cover aviation. Returning to the old rules will raise the distinct possibility of no flights between Europe and the UK for a period from March 2019 in the absence of a bilateral deal.
Europe’s Open Skies system, set up in 2007, allows any airline from the European Union and US airline to fly between any point in the European Union and any point in the United States.
Ryanair said that it had already “pivoted growth away from the UK to other EU airports”. It said that it would not be basing any new aircraft at any of its 19 UK airports this year. Ryanair’s rival easyJet is also considering moving its headquarters out of the UK.
EU leaders have reportedly warned airline executives that they must have a significant base in the EU post-Brexit in order to continue operating flights to the continent or risk routes being axed by regulators.