Britain’s biggest carrier easyJet “just needs confirmation of traffic rights” between the UK and EU to be ready for Brexit, chief executive John Lundgren insisted this week.
Lundgren told the UK Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC): “We have prepared for all scenarios.
“We established an Austrian air operator’s certificate (AOC) in 2017. Post-March 2019 we have an Austrian airline to do our intra-EU flying.
“We are transferring two to three aircraft a week – it’s the fastest-growing airline in Europe. We will have 129 by the end of March.
“We’re transferring pilot and cabin crew licences – the Civil Aviation Authority has been extraordinarily helpful.”
Lundgren told the GTMC domestic conference in London on Thursday: “There is a tendency to say we have until March 29 [to prepare] – well we don’t.”
But he insisted: “I spend a lot of time with politicians. I’m encouraged by the discussions I’ve had, even if an agreement does not happen.
“Everyone wants to be able to continue to fly. That is what the European Commission has said will happen, that it will protect traffic.
“We’ve discussed having a grace period, but we have done it all in advance. All we need is confirmation of traffic rights between the UK and EU. We just want the text in a legal document so we can get on with it.”
Earlier in the week, Lundgren told a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast: “Even if there is no deal, the EC and Westminster have said they would be supportive of protecting traffic routes between the UK and Europe.”
He said he was confident there would be no disruption to flying and insisted easyJet could comply with EU rules which require EU-registered airlines to be majority owned in the EU.
Lundgren said: “We are speaking to everyone we can get hold of in Westminster and Brussels to say they need to clarify that [traffic rights] in a legal text.
“I remain convinced there won’t be any disruption to flying.”
UK trade association Abta has issued guidance to members on the implications of a no-deal Brexit ahead of Parliament’s vote next week on the deal negotiated between the UK and EU.
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