Many in business aviation ‘unprepared for Brexit No Deal’

'EU operators can fly to UK if No Deal Brexit’: UK government

Many people in business aviation are unprepared for the consequences of a Brexit No Deal, according to Dave Edwards, CEO, Air Charter Association (ACA). Edwards delivered the warning to Corporate Jet Investor’s Town Hall online meeting on August 19th – two days before the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the EU “seems unlikely”.

A No Deal would compromise “the freedom of the skies” – or the ability for UK-based operators reach to European destinations and for European-based operators to fly to the UK, noted Edwards.

“If it is a Hard Brexit then that won’t happen, so let’s hope the next trade negotiations … come to something. So, it requires this top-level agreement between the negotiating teams to get a kind of general consensus,” Edwards told the Town Hall’s 400-plus delegates.

The transition period for the UK’s exit from the EU ends on December 31st. If no deal has been agreed by then, the UK would have to trade with the EU on WTO (World Trade Organization) terms. The UK has pledged not to extend talks if an agreement cannot be reached by the December deadline. Whilst Barnier’s UK counterpart, David Frost, today spoke of “little progress” in the negotiations, amid differences on fisheries policy and state aid rules.

Edwards said reaching a deal on aviation would be difficult. “It [aviation] has been lumped in with a number of other areas unrelated to aviation. So, I think there is a hell of a challenge coming up to get this all done in the next four months. Let’s just hope the politicians live up to that challenge.”

Wednesday’s Corporate Jet Investor Town Hall was in association with the ACA. The session, which included speakers from Dubai, Hong Kong, Malta and the UK amongst others, can be viewed here.