The UK government and the European Union (EU) have reached an agreement that will ensure flights will continue between the UK and EU in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit. Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko applauded the move as building confidence for travelers headed to the UK and Europe.
“This will give extra assurance to travelers headed to the UK and points beyond in the EU,” Chacko said. “North Americans considering a trip to the UK should pack their bags and have a great time. The dollar is strong, the UK is just as attractive as always and it’s a perfect time to go.”
According to the latest statement from the UK’s Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority, the government has finalized a detailed plan confirming protection for flights in a no-deal scenario. Additionally, the UK reports that the EU is about to finalize its no-deal aviation regulation that will protect UK airlines flying into Europe.
“Measures put forward by the UK and the EU will ensure that flights can continue in any scenario; deal or no deal,” said Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg, CBE. “This is good news, not only for the industry but most importantly it reaffirms the fact that passengers can book flights with confidence, as normal. We expect these contingency measures will never be needed and our efforts remain focused on securing a deal from the EU.”
Back in November, the United States and the UK concluded their own “open skies” agreement to govern air travel between the two countries after Brexit, replacing the existing aviation agreement between the EU and the U.S. with respect to the UK. That agreement guaranteed the continuation of transatlantic air travel routes between the U.S. and the UK; with the latest agreement, connecting flights into Europe will also be able to continue to operate in a no-deal scenario.
In the latest update from the BBC on the Brexit negotiations, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is calling on EU leaders for “one more push” to get Parliamentary approval on a Brexit deal. May warned that, if the deal is voted down again, it could result in a softer Brexit, or the UK not leaving the EU “at all.”
The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29.
Chacko also noted that, this summer, the UK is introducing ePassport gate access for American and Canadian travelers, which will speed airport wait times.
“Our message to travelers is to book with a travel advisor,” Chacko said regarding travelers concerned about Brexit. “We have close relationships with the airlines, travel suppliers and tourism officials. Our advisors continually monitor travel scenarios for all destinations and keep our clients informed of any developments that might affect their travel plans. As with any trip, we recommend travel insurance in the event that there is a trip disruption or a traveler experiences an unexpected illness or situation.”