Ireland has most to lose in aviation over Brexit uncertainty, Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE told the ninth ACI Airports Economics & Finance Conference taking place in London.
He said the markets most reliant on air traffic to/from Britain are: Ireland (39.2pc), followed by the Slovak Republic (33.2pc), Cyprus (31.3pc), Malta (27.9pc), Poland (20.2pc), Lithuania (19.8pc) and Spain (17.3pc).
With Britain set to notify its intention to leave the European Union, ACI EUROPE expressed concerns about the prospects of ongoing uncertainty over the rules that will come to govern aviation between Britain and the remaining EU Member States (EU27).
It said the confusion needs to be quickly resolved to provide clarity for passengers, airlines and airports so as to enable continued investment in growing collective connectivity. The airport trade association also cautioned about the economic consequences of the British aviation market not remaining closely integrated within the EU27 aviation market.
Jankovec said “The ‘sequencing’ of the Brexit negotiations means talks will initially focus on agreeing exit terms for Britain, before they eventually come to define the new relationship between Britain and the EU27 as of 2019. This implies that the aviation industry will be left in the dark for many more months to come about what will happen. Unless quickly resolved, this uncertainty will end up constraining route network development for airports, ultimately affecting air connectivity for their communities. This is due to the fact that airline route planning requires both long lead times and legal certainty.”
He warned: “As responsible businesses, at this stage we simply cannot rule out a cliff-edged scenario for Brexit and aviation. The potential impact of this on air connectivity, consumers and the wider economy needs to be addressed by Brexit negotiators – on both sides. This means that adequate contingencies need to be established promptly in case Britain would exit the EU without any agreement on its future relationship with the bloc.”
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