ACI Europe and Britain’s AOA respond to EU’s Brexit guidelines
Following the publication of the European Union’s Brexit negotiation guidelines, two major trade organisations have released a joint statement regarding the guidelines’ brief reference to the aviation industry.
MAINTAIN CURRENT ARRANGEMENTS: The trade associations noted the guidelines did not consider the rights of UK airlines to keep flying within the EU27 nor the right of EU27 airlines to keep flying within the UK
The bodies representing airports in Europe and the UK have released a joint statement welcoming the EU’s recently-announced Brexit guidelines, but urged negotiators to try and keep any future agreement in line with current arrangements.
Released yesterday (March 7), the guidelines state that the aim of the bloc’s negotiations “should be to ensure connectivity between the UK and the EU” after the UK leaves. It said that this would require an air transport agreement as well as an aviation safety agreement while ensuring a strong level playing field within the sector.
They said: “[The] draft EU guidelines for the post-Brexit relationship confirm that specific air transport and air safety agreements will be needed to safeguard air connectivity between the UK and the EU. This is a welcome step – as this charts the way forward for the future aviation relationship and thus potentially reduces uncertainty for our sector.
“Aviation is one of the EU’s most prominent success stories. Thanks to the Single Aviation Market, European consumers have access to more destinations than ever at lower fares. ACI EUROPE and the UK Airport Operators Association urge negotiators to put the passenger at the heart of a future deal to ensure they continue to benefit from this excellent air connectivity, whether they live and work in the EU, or in the UK.
“That is why we call both on EU27 and UK negotiators to seek a future agreement that mirrors as closely as possible today’s arrangements. We note that the draft EU guidelines do not consider the rights of UK airlines to keep flying within the EU27 nor the right of EU27 airlines to keep flying within the UK, as a result of the UK leaving the Single Aviation Market. These restrictions would result in a less competitive overall European aviation sector as a result of reduced operating flexibility and additional costs.”