European airline body urges for action in light of continued Brexit uncertainty

Following the recent collapse of UK regional carrier flybmi, industry body European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has written to the European Commission and UK Department of Transport urging them to act now and finalise the forthcoming aviation plans for Brexit as a matter of urgency.

It calls for a wide-reaching reciprocal aviation agreement between the EU and the UK to prevent further serious harm to European connectivity and explains the challenges caused by Brexit are “unsurmountable” and airlines “have not had time to prepare, plan and react”.

Montserrat Barriga, ERA director general, previously wrote to the European Commission in Nov-2018 calling for urgent action in advance of the UK leaving the European Union and has once again written to persuade them to take immediate action.

The disastrous consequences for the aviation industry, both in the UK and the rest of Europe, “will be significant,” explains Ms Barriga, and the ERA chief believes the recent flybmi collapse “is only the beginning if we do not resolve the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit agreement”.

Ms Barriga explains: “I was deeply saddened to learn that ERA member British Midland Regional Limited, which operated as flybmi, had filed for administration on 16-Feb-2019. Rising fuel and carbon costs coupled with the uncertainty, unfairness and challenges surrounding Brexit has led to the airline ceasing all operations. I will once again be in direct contact with the European Commission and the UK Department of Transport, as a matter of urgency, to persuade them to act immediately.”

She describes it as being “imperative” that they put in place “a comprehensive agreement for aviation” that mirrors the current situation with the UK “as the highest priority”, and that they reach a solution that “will allow airlines to continue operating” as they do today, enabling Europeans to continue benefiting from affordable and stress-free travel.”

“This is a sad day for European aviation and a clear example of the impact of a too long uncertainty surrounding Brexit,” she adds.