Published on Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Airports warn of massive slump in flights from next spring without new EU deal

UK airports are warning of a potential catastrophic slump in air travel from the UK due to Brexit unless an interim aviation agreement is reached with the EU by October 2018.

Gatwick, Heathrow, London City, Manchester and Stansted have submitted a confidential report to the government arguing that traffic will start to fall as early as next March.

The report, written by consultancy WPI Economics and seen by Sky News, claims that passenger numbers travelling between the UK and EU countries could slump 41% in the year between March 2018 and March 2019.

The report, 'Brexit and the aviation industry: the opportunity for certainty', said that without an interim deal, there could be 20% fewer flights from next March.

"With airlines, passengers and airports having to plan months if not years in advance, this has potentially detrimental consequences for UK competitiveness, trade, growth and living standards, which all become more significant the longer that UK and EU negotiators fail to deliver a new trading relationship or transitional deal," the WPI report says.

"Although an 11th-hour deal may prevent planes from being grounded, damage to the aviation industry and the wider economy would have already been done."

A Government spokesman told Sky News: "Aviation is absolutely crucial to the UK's economy and we are committed to getting the right deal for Britain.

"Our aviation industry is the largest in Europe, and both we and the EU benefit from the connectivity it provides.

"That's why we are pursuing liberal access to European aviation markets - including all the benefits that brings for consumers."

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  • Funny that....

    .....we don't seem to have any problems flying to NON-EU countries. Just another load of rubbish from people scared of loosing out on the EU "gravy-train".

    By Peter Mannell, Thursday, August 24, 2017

  • More Scaremongering!

    So nearly 40% of us will stop flying both for business and holidays from next March. How did they arrive at that assumption ? I have yet to speak to any of my customers who have raised any concern about 2018 holidays . I think this is a bit of scaremongering on behalf of the airport owners (many of whom are foreign owned) and should be taken with a pinch of salt.

    By Michael Edwards, Wednesday, August 23, 2017

  • Wrong Dates

    Surely if,as you say, there is likely to be a 41% slump between March 2018 and March 2019 then an agreement needs to be reached by October 2017 not 2018, as you state here. In other words in something like two months time.......

    By Clive Stacey, Wednesday, August 23, 2017

  • Fascinating, is it not...

    ...that the article immediately prior to this one in TravelMole is entitled "UK leisure airline launches major recruitment drive". One of these stories must be wrong, that's for sure. My guess is that it's the "Project Fear" item.

    By Richard English, Wednesday, August 23, 2017

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