UK Transport Secretary Vows Air Traffic With EU to Continue After Brexit

UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling pledged on Thursday that air traffic between the United Kingdom and the European Union would continue after Brexit, noting that some air carriers had even increased the number of routes to the continent.

“There is nothing that the government has said or done to imply that planes will be grounded or there will be no flights after we leave the European Union. I give you a categorical assurance that flights are going to continue,” Grayling said in parliament in response to accusations of “mishandling” the issue coming from Labor lawmaker Lilian Greenwood.

He noted that, despite certain hysteria over the future of flights between the United Kingdom and the continent, air carriers only increase the number of mutual routes.

“Interestingly, those in the aviation industry, Mr. Speaker, who has been most vociferous about the risks of plains being grounded are now selling tickets for next summer and expanding the number of routes from the United Kingdom to the European Union,” Grayling stressed.

The statement follows a series of technical notices released on September 24 by the UK government, covering aviation and other means of transport. According to the notices, UK and EU air carriers will lose their automatic right to operate on each other’s territory and will need individual permissions if the two sides fail to reach a Brexit deal before the March 2019 deadline. The documents warned that it could cause disruption to some flights.

Concerns over the possibility of a no-deal Brexit have been mounting for a long time, especially among businesses, including air carriers. In particular, Ryanair, the largest low-cost airline in Europe, has long been urging the United Kingdom and the European Union to reach a new aviation agreement to avoid disruption of flights.