IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac emphasized that “time is precious” and says the UK government must act quickly to achieve clarity on post-Brexit issues.
The UK’s departure from the European Union and the single market will subsequently lead to it leaving the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA). The ECAA allows airlines of signatory countries to have full market access, and fly between their territories and anywhere in the EU.
Flight schedules must be available at least six months in advance. That puts airlines' deadline at October 2018
In an address to the UK Aviation Club on Wednesday, 8 November, de Juniac said he sees “no alternative” to a negotiated agreement between the UK and the EU regarding air travel services.
The UK is set to formally exit the EU in March 2019, but de Juniac highlighted that the deadline for aviation-related issues will be much earlier—with passengers normally able to book flights up to a year in advance.
“At a minimum, the flight schedules and seat and cargo inventories must be available at least six months in advance,” he added.
“So that puts the airlines’ deadline at October 2018—just 11 months from now.”
As well as securing an agreement on bilateral travel rights, IATA has urged action across issues including:
• Finding staffing, systems and process solutions for a potential ballooning of customs transactions from 4.6 million per month to 21 million per month.
• Developing immigration solutions to efficiently deal with the millions of travelers between the UK and Europe should border control procedures become more cumbersome.
• Defining the relationship of the UK to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
“The pressure is mounting, with passenger numbers predicted to grow irrespective of Brexit,” de Juniac added. “Solutions need to be found quickly to ensure a smooth transition.”