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Advice from the DfT ahead of Brexit

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9th September 2019

Advice from the DfT ahead of Brexit

We have received this update from the UK Department for Transport on the extension of the Basic Air Connectivity regulation in the event of a no-deal Brexit:

Please draw your attention to the announcement made by the European Commission today on no-deal preparedness.

It states: “Basic air connectivity (Regulation (EU) 2019/502): the Commission has today proposed to extend this Regulation until 24 October 2020, reflecting the logic and duration of the original Regulation.”

The proposed changes will need to be formally approved and adopted by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers. That is expected to happen before the end of October.

We have just published our proposed reciprocal measures via a news release and updated guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/protection-for-flights-and-road-transport-after-brexit-reaffirmed
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https://www.gov.uk/guidance/air-services-from-the-eu-to-the-uk-in-the-event-of-no-deal

The proposed extension to the connectivity Regulation provides more certainty and means consumers can continue to book and travel with confidence.”

The position is that EU airlines will have unrestricted access, subject to the application for a Foreign Operator Carrier Permit from the UK CAA, to operate fifth and seventh freedom flights to and within the UK, until at least October 2020.

Reciprocity at that level has unfortunately not been agreed for UK operators to do the same.

Under the EU Regulation, UK airlines will be entitled to fly across the territory of the EU and to make stops in the EU for non-traffic purposes (i.e. to refuel or carry out maintenance without embarking or disembarking passengers or cargo). UK airlines will be entitled to operate services without restriction between any pair of points, one of which is in the UK and the other in an EU Member State (the ‘third and fourth freedoms of the air’), and all-cargo services from the UK to an EU Member State and on to a country outside the EU (beyond-EU ‘fifth freedom’ services) within a cap for up to 5 months from the date that the UK leaves the EU. However they will NOT have the ability to operate intra-European seventh-freedom flights, i.e. from one EU Member State to another.

Whilst this has been in place for some time we believe few members may be aware of it, and obviously the significant implications it potentially has on UK operators.

We will be seeking further clarity, together with our fellow Associations, on this.