British airlines warned over post-Brexit flight restrictions


Oct 29, 2003
Looks like tough luck for the LCCs, maybe not much affect on BA.
British airlines could face severe restrictions on European flights immediately after a “hard” Brexit, the European Commission has warned, as the UK prepares for the formal process of leaving the EU.

Commission officials recently told British airline representatives that under a transitional deal after a hard Brexit UK carriers would be able to operate only direct flights between the UK and the EU, according to two people familiar with the discussions. Under such restrictions, airlines such as easyJet and BMI, which currently fly between destinations in the continental EU, such as Milan to Munich, would not be able to operate such routes without changing their status. Should Britain also impose the same restrictions on EU airlines, Ryanair could be prevented from operating intra-UK flights.

IAG, parent company of British Airways, will not be affected by the restrictions, as all BA flights currently leave from or arrive in the UK. But the company must still satisfy regulators that it is majority-EU owned after Brexit, despite having a large number of UK shareholders and being 20 per cent owned by Qatar Airways.
So, the fun begins. Though I question the UK decision to leave the EU, I support their right to do so. The EU would be advised to forego "punishing" the UK and its corporations for leaving the Union. To paraphrase Willie Sutton who said "I rob banks because that's where the money is," the UK is where the money is in that part of the world (with the exception of Germany). Making it difficult for UK corporations to do business on the Continent may very well result in the UK making it difficult for EU corporations to do business in the UK. What goes around, comes around.
The EU would be advised to forego "punishing" the UK and its corporations for leaving the Union.

You underestimate how much natural dislike the French and the Germans have towards the UK in general, and now it's grown by a few orders of magnitude as a result of the UK daring to challenge the EU status quo. They will be seeking to punish the UK in the Brexit negotiations. The EU in some ways has no choice but to at least TRY to punish the UK. After all, if the UK-EU negotiations were to go without acrimony, it could encourage other countries to leave the union too.
Oh, I think the majority of the EU realize they can't pay their bills without membership in the EU--only the UK and Germany really can. Even France has a tenuous financial position without the EU. As long as UK or Germany belongs, the EU will survive and do well. If Germany decides to do a "Gerexit", then it's time to worry.

I agree with you that there has to "appear" to be some punishment for UK, but I don't think it will amount to much. Certainly not anything that the UK would actually care about or be concerned over--perhaps an embargo on steak and kidney pie. :eek:

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