- Ryanair will use new certificate for London-Sotland flights
- Easyjet has already transferred operation in Austria
- BA owned by Spanish parent
Ryanair has been granted an operating certificate by the London based CAA for a subsidiary airline which will guarantee its rights to carry on operating domestic flights and to fly from UK to non-EU destinations after Brexit.
Ryamair said it had put “robust post-Brexit structures” in place, despite assurances from governments that flights would continue after Britain leaves the European Union.
Michael O’Leary has long warned of potential disruption to airline operations after March 2019, and although the EU has signalled its intention that flights should continue even in the event of no deal, firm agreements remain to be signed.
Ryanair operates a small number of domestic flights between London and Scotland and flies to several non-EU destinations from Britain, including Ukraine, Norway and Morocco.
Rival European low-cost carrier Wizz Air has also secured an English AOC ahead of Brexit, while English carrier easyJet conversely set up a new European company based in Vienna, with an EU AOC, to ensure it could continue intra-EU flights.
Ryanair indicated it would remove voting rights from its non-EU shareholders to comply with Brussels’ rules demanding majority-EU ownership and control.
Similar rules could pose a problem for IAG, the owner of British Airways and Aer Lingus, as well as several EU-based carriers including Iberia, according to some Ryanair directors and aviation experts. An IAG spokeswoman said: “We are confident we will comply with EU and Britain ownership and control rules post-Brexit.”
El Pais reported that IAG’s argument to the EU that Iberia is Spanish is based on a part of the company’s complex structure, a single-employee company called Garanair, which is now owned by El Corte Inglés. Garanair, administered by an executive at the Spanish supermarket group, holds majority voting rights at Iberia.
A similar trust was set up in 2010 for BA in Britain when IAG was created, to help ensure separate flying rights for the group’s airlines in the event of legal challenge.
Juliusz Komorek,chief legal and regulatory officer at Ryanair, said: “We welcome the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to grant our English based airline with a Britain AOC, allowing Ryanair to operate British domestic routes and England to non-EU routes in a post-Brexit environment. The risk of a no-deal Brexit in March is rising, and despite our robust post-Brexit structures, including our post-Brexit plan around European ownership, we continue to call for Britain and EU to agree a transition deal from 31 March 2019, so that any disruption to flights and British consumer summer holidays in 2019 can be avoided.”
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