A STARK WARNING from EU Chiefs could force route changes for the major UK airlines Ryanair and easyJet, flying out of Alicante-Elche and Valencia Airports post Brexit.
Currently, both use these as bases for flights to destinations across the European Union countries, giving travellers along the Costa Blanca the opportunity to visit cities such as Rome, Paris and Milan and also fly to other airports in Spain, directly from their local airport, but just days from the triggering of Article 50 uncertainty remains for the future of these routes.
Representatives from easyJet, along with the British Airways owner IAG, Ryanair and the Tui Group, whose portfolio of airlines includes Thomson, met the EU’s Brexit taskforce last week. EU officials in the meetings were clear, however, about the rigidity of the rules, amid concerns at a senior EU level that too many in the aviation industry are in denial about the consequences of the UK’s decision to leave the bloc.
They warned the airlines that they will need to relocate their headquarters, sell off shares to European nationals, or drop the intra-Europe routes if they want to continue flying within continental Europe after Brexit.
The industry holds out hope that the UK and the EU will be able to seal an early deal during Article 50 negotiations ensuring damage to the industry is limited.
However, a number of member states may also have interests in standing in the way of Britain’s attempts to strike a new deal. Spanish diplomats, for example, say they will not sign any international aviation agreement that recognises the airport on Gibraltar.
For now, it’s business as usual for the carriers, who have continued to add more European routes to their Spanish bases for the next two seasons.