Julian Bray aviation expert writes:Airlines currently operating in, or have flights servicing the UK, have all now completed arrangements, to either set up new European firms (i.e. inside the EU) or UK operating units ( outside the EU). Many are already headquartered inside the EU, so in order to access the UK market post brexit many have obtained new air operating licences.
In effect, where one air operators licence previously serviced the whole of the pre-brexit EU, two are now required with the UK soon to be placed outside the EU.
Most airline groups have effectively discounted, and in some cases are highly dismissive of current political efforts, seen as being too little, too late, lacking a sense of commercial urgency, politically weak, and more concerned about not losing face.
They view Mrs Mays increasing intervention, as a sign that the specially set up Brexit department isn't working. They point to the high number of jobs being churned within the department and the negotiating collective inexperience of the newly drafted in junior civil servants filling the gaps and making up the round table backroom teams. A point not lost on the seemingly more experienced Europeans...
Faced with the clear lack of meaningful progress and the political weakness of the current conservative government, many airlines have retargeted their marketing efforts and some will focus almost exclusively on Europe mainland destinations.
A few will take an innovative jobbing approach to the UK, using airlines on an ad- hoc charter basis to feed passengers in groups directly into their European airport hubs for onward flights.
It is already happening in terms of air cargo as some shipments are being transferred in and out of the EU by road before being placed on flights in the appropriate trading area. DHL for example will route small packet traffic from the US market via Germany rather than directly to the UK, expect more arrangements of this type to appear.
The aviation industry is not only sending a message to our politicians, they are hedging their options. However brexit turns out, some airlines will survive, but a few will go under due to the uncertainty of financial markets and the increasing strength of the US dollar. Happy New Year..
@JULIANBRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert,
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