Flights will not be grounded even in a no deal Brexit, says Easyjet boss

Flights will not be grounded even in a no deal Brexit, says Easyjet boss

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The boss of airline easyJet has said he is "confident" flights will not be grounded in a no-deal Brexit scenario after recent assurances from Brussels.

EasyJet Chief Executive Johan Lundgren told the Press Association that no-deal plans released last week by the European Commission meant flights would be able to continue uninterrupted after Brexit, even if the UK crashes out with no agreement in place.

He welcomed the measures, which give some long-awaited clarity over flying rights for UK planes over and into the EU amid fears a no-deal scenario could see flights grind to a halt after March 29.

Mr Lundgren said: "The European Commission has said that in the case of a no deal, they would propose measures to protect [flying] rights, which the UK has reciprocated."

"I'm confident there would be no disruption," he said.

He said the "bare bones" agreement comes after easyJet and fellow airlines have had regular "close contact" with the Government over the issue, and had been pushing for clarity on no-deal flying plans.


Brexit contingency plans

He also assured that easyJet had spent two years making Brexit contingency plans, setting up a Vienna-based arm called EasyJet Europe, which will enable it to continue operating flights across the EU and domestically within EU countries regardless of the Brexit outcome.

In its full-year results, also out on Tuesday, easyJet insisted Brexit had not dented holidaymaker demand for flights next summer - with bookings slightly ahead on 2018.

The group has a 41% increase in annual profits to £578 million for the year to the end of September despite strikes and rising costs.

But easyJet warned that cost pressures will continue into its new financial year, with a hit of up to £100 million expected from rising fuel prices.

The airline industry was rocked by strike chaos over the summer as a result of air traffic control industrial action in France and Italy.