The boss of Ryanair Michael O’Leary warned the UK Government that France and Germany are trying to stop British companies from flying to and from Europe after Brexit.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said European air companies are campaigning with EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to slow down talks on air travel agreements after the UK leaves the EU in 2019.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight, O’Leary discussed the frustration of British airlines with the lack of clarity on whether they’ll be allowed to continue flying to and from the EU after Brexit.
“Aviation comes six months before March 2019. We’re setting our schedules for summer 2018 and September 2018. If we don’t have the right to fly, we will be cancelling those flights.”
“The French and the Germans are [talking to Barnier] going “Slow down.”
The airline’s CEO said that without appropriate post-Brexit regulation flights after 2019 will not be scheduled and British citizens will see their travel plans disrupted.
“The choice will be between driving to Scotland or booking a ferry to Ireland.”
“The continental Europeans see aviation as a way of putting pressure on the British people.”
O’Leary was particularly concerned the UK Government would not be able to strike a deal on flight regulation, saying that contrary to issues like trade aviation had nothing “to fall back on” after Brexit.
He said he was planning to see the Transport Minister Chris Grayling in order to discuss his worries about the UK leaving the Open Skies agreement that allows British airlines to offer their services in EU cities.
Brexit will be firmly on the agenda, as the March 2019 date marks the end of the Open Skies Agreement, unless another deal is struck.