UK and USA Will Maintain Current Airlinks With New Openskies Deal After Brexit 1

Bilateral Agreement

Last week we reported that British Airways could seek to become a Spanish entity in the event of a no deal Brexit. Now we can reveal that Chris Grayling, the transport secretary, has struck a deal with his US counterpart. The deal means that flights between the United Kingdom and the United States will effectively be unaffected following Brexit. The move marks a huge step forward in the post Brexit aviation industry, which is currently filled with uncertainty. There are now post Brexit Bilateral Agreements in place with a total of 9 countries.

UK Open For Business

The United Kingdom Government has so far agreed on bi-lateral flight agreements with 9 countries. The full list is as follows:

  • Albania;
  • Georgia;
  • Iceland;
  • Israel;
  • Kosovo;
  • Montenegro;
  • Morocco;
  • Switzerland;
  • The United States of America.
Bilateral Agreement
A map depicting the countries the UK has agreed to bilateral agreements with, in comparison to the EU. Source: MapChart.net

The maintained availability of routes to the United States will be hugely important for UK Industry. Currently, the UK and the US have a £50 billion trading relationship. Air travel is an important component of this relationship. As such Chris Grayling was quick to praise the agreement:

The UK and United States have a special relationship which has helped shape the modern world and there is no better example of this than in aviation. Our transatlantic flights have helped to bring our countries even closer together, strengthening our ties and boosting our economies. This new arrangement and those concluded with 8 other countries around the world are proof that the UK will continue to be a major player on the world stage after we leave the EU.

Bilateral Agreement
Transatlantic routes are key for British Airways.

Full Access To International Aviation

While praising the agreement CEO of the International Airlines Group, Mr Willie Walsh, told that more needs to be done: “It’s critical that Britain maintains full access to international aviation markets so it can continue to develop its global trading links. This agreement is a significant positive development which we welcome. The agreement, which closely follows the Model US Open Skies Agreement, facilitates strong competition and is clearly pro-consumer. The US is a major destination for British businesses and tourists while the UK welcomes many American visitors to its shores.”

Bilateral Agreement
The US market has always been important to British Airways. Image: British Airways

With 119 days to go until Brexit, it arguably has never been less clear what the outcome will be. While British Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to push her negotiated Brexit deal through parliament. This has not proved the most popular with many so far, and the EU have told that they will not agree to another deal. Should this deal not pass, the to options remaining are to cancel Brexit or to crash out of the EU with no deal. Should a deal be reached, aviation will be protected for the duration of a transition period, so for now, the US-UK deal would only be relevant in the event of no-deal, or at the end of a transition period.

What are your thoughts on this new agreement? Let us know in the comments down below!

1 Comment

  1. I’m ABSOLUTELY OVERJOYED that our country made the correct decision to choose the USA over the EU for our new post brexit open skies agreement. However, there must be ABSOLUTELY NO SUCH AVIATION AGREEMENT with the EU. All a UK-EU open skies aviation agreement will do is leave us shackled to the EU permanently & as a vassal state of the EU with no hope of escaping the EU’S rules & regulations. The USA have previously said that such a deal agreed today would be completely revoked if we signed up to the EU aviation agreement due to conflicting rules on airline ownership, with the EU insisting that UK-based shareholders must give up their investment shares so that airlines become majority EU-owned even though a flight maybe a straightforward point to point between the UK & the EU, with the USA however, insisting that UK-based airlines must be owned by no less than 100% British nationals & have made it clear that they are NOT prepared to give ground over the issue. So we are yet again faced with a binary choice…USA or the EU.

    PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS WONDERFUL AGREEMENT WITH THE USA BE REVOKED. PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT ALL UK-EU FLIGHTS ARE GROUNDED FROM BREXIT DAY ONWARDS ONCE & FOR ALL.

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