Five UK airports have joined forces in order to urge the government to strike a post-Brexit deal on flights between the UK and the EU as soon as possible. According to the airports, the uncertainty of what might happen alone could be sufficient to see bookings decline by 41%.
The owners of Gatwick, Heathrow, London City, Manchester and Stansted presented a report to ministers this week. Herein they state that even if flights are not disrupted in March 2019 when the UK leaves the European Union, passenger numbers are expected to fall if no measures are taken beforehand. According to the report, composed by WPI Economics, close to half of passengers booking next year are prone to alter their plans if the status of flights remains unclear.
At the moment, British airlines are able to operate freely within Europe. However, international air travel (post-Brexit) would have to rely on various bilateral treaties which are not yet in place. The report then encourages the government to reach an agreement as quickly as possible, preferably before Spring 2018. If not: “hundreds of thousands of passengers and aircraft movements are affected. This will be bad for the aviation industry and bad for the economy...The UK’s overseas trading relationships and domestic economic activity supported by air travel will suffer”.