Could a no-deal Brexit cause widespread flight disruption?

Brexit is shrouded in uncertainty, but the prospect of a no-deal scenario could be a cause for concern among holiday makers.

While it’s impossible to say with any certainty that flights will or will not be disrupted, the International Air Transport Association has suggested that some could be cancelled.

The transition period will mean that there is little change until the end of 2020, but what happens beyond that is unclear.

The government has said it wants flights to continue as normal, even under a no-deal scenario, but a whitepaper has questioned whether that would be possible.

What are the concerns?

According to the IATA, restrictions could come into force in the event of a no-deal as there would be a ticket cap on how many flights can be sold – preventing more being sold than in the year previously.

Given that around five million extra seats are scheduled for the current year to meet additional demand compared to 2018, those could be on the chopping block.

Among them could be new routes announced by airlines including British Airways, EasyJet and Jet2, all of which have unveiled plans to increase frequency in 2019 and beyond.

The exact wording of the legislation states: “The total seasonal capacity to be provided by UK air carriers for routes between the UK and each member state shall not exceed the total number of frequencies operated by those carriers on those routes during respectively the IATA winter and summer seasons of 2018.”

Importantly, AirlineUK – which represents 13 UK based carriers – has said it expects a new agreement on aviation to be reached between the UK and the EU, even if it takes time.

So while concerns have been voiced on what a no-deal scenario could mean, there is still plenty of uncertainty as 29th March looms.

If you have concerns relating to your insurance policy and whether it may cover Brexit related disruption, you should speak to your insurer at the earliest opportunity. 

Date Created: 14 February 2019

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