Back to Brexit, and following Theresa May winning a vote of no confidence yesterday, Britain still does not have a deal with the EU regarding aviation. According to an IATA study, Brexit will have a significant impact on the United Kingdom’s aviation industry. This is both in the event of no deal, and potentially at the end of a transition period. Everything from pilot certification to aircraft manufacture. The worst bit, however? The UK transport Minister, Chris Grayling, has yet to even start negotiating post-Brexit aviation with the European Union. However, a deal has been struck with the US for after Brexit. A number of airlines are already preparing for a no-deal Brexit. British Airways is looking at becoming a Spanish entity, while EasyJet is moving its fleet across to a new subsidy based in Europe.
What Will Happen After Brexit?
It will depend on what version of Brexit goes ahead if any. The draft withdrawal agreement agreed by Theresa May and the European Union makes the provision for a two year transition period from 29th March 2019. During this time, the current EU aviation regulations and agreements will continue to exist until the United Kingdom has negotiated them. However, it looks increasingly unlikely that parliament will approve the withdrawal agreement. This has so far prompted the vote being moved to January and a vote of no confidence in Theresa May.
If the UK fails to agree on a deal with Brussels, then a no-deal Brexit will occur. According to the IATA, this will have disastrous effects for both the UK and European Union aviation markets. At the end of the transition period and in the case of a no-deal Brexit, the UK would cease to be a member of EASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency. Flight Crew certificates issued by EASA would become invalid. Certificates issued by British authorities would not be valid outside the UK. Additionally, “Holders of EASA [type certificates] in the UK would not be able to deliver products such as wings, engines and propellers to EU manufacturers”.
As more than 1000 wings for commercial Airbus aircraft are manufactured in the UK each year, this would have a huge effect on Airbus, one of the world’s largest manufacturers. Despite a no deal Brexit meaning flights could be grounded, no airlines have stopped selling tickets beyond the 29th March.
Low-cost airline EasyJet is preparing for the eventuality of a no-deal Brexit. The company which was previously based in the UK has been transferring the registration of a number of aircraft to a European subsidy. EasyJet Europe is based in Austria, and currently has 129 aircraft on its lists according to Airfleets.net. The reason for the transfer is the continuation of services in a post-Brexit Europe. However, the company is not interested in maintaining UK-EU flights. The reason for transferring the aircraft is so that the aircraft will still be able to fly on EU-EU routes.
What do you think will happen to the aviation industry post-Brexit? Let us know in the comments down below!