Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Airline boss warns on Brexit fares risk

Gdansk, Poland - choice of such destinations could be hit by Brexit
Good to hear easyJet boss Carolyn McCall on Radio 4's Today programme, confirming my earlier warnings about the threat to low air fares in Europe if the UK votes to leave the EU. Though she was careful not to state unequivocally that fares would rise she made it plain that conditions would be such that they might. Under the EU Open Skies regime easyJet could fly where it liked without facing obstructions. EasyJet, for example, can establish bases at airports in other EU countries. Outside it life would become much more complicated. UK airlines would need to negotiate rights, perhaps to maintain such bases, perhaps operate on individual routes, for which there might be a price. As I have already noted on this site, civil aviation, has long been a political football. Just look at the row over low cost carrier Norwegian's efforts to launch budget flights from Cork using an Irish - and therefore EU - registered - subsidiary. And on top of all that the free movement of workers in Europe has clearly benefited leisure travellers by widening the choice of destinations served by low cost airlines. Witness the huge range of cities in central and eastern Europe that you may now explore without breaking the bank.

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