A wide-reaching reciprocal aviation agreement between the EU and UK is urgently needed to prevent further “serious harm” to European air service connectivity.

The call by the European Regions Airline Association (Era) follows the collapse of member flybmi on Saturday leaving hundreds of passengers stranded across the UK and Europe.

“The disastrous consequences for the aviation industry, both in the UK and the rest of Europe, will be significant and Era believes this current airline failure is only the beginning if we do not resolve the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit agreement,” the association warned.

“The challenges caused by Brexit are unsurmountable and as this shows, airlines have not had time to prepare, plan and react.”

The organisation urged the European Commission and UK Department of Transport to finalise forthcoming aviation plans for Brexit “as a matter of urgency”.

The association has written to the European Commission and UK Department of Transport demanding that they act now.

Era director general Montserrat Barriga previously wrote to the commission in November calling for urgent action in advance of the UK leaving the EU and has once called for immediate action.

Barriga said: “I was deeply saddened to learn that Era member British Midland Regional, which operated as flybmi, had filed for administration on 16 February.

“Rising fuel and carbon costs coupled with the uncertainty, unfairness and challenges surrounding Brexit has led to the airline ceasing all operations.

“I will once again be in direct contact with the European Commission and the UK Department of Transport, as a matter of urgency, to persuade them to act immediately.

“It is imperative that they put in place a comprehensive agreement for aviation that mirrors the current situation with the UK as the highest priority, and that they reach a solution that will allow airlines to continue operating as they do today, enabling Europeans to continue benefiting from affordable and stress-free travel.

“This is a sad day for European aviation and a clear example of the impact of a too long uncertainty surrounding Brexit.”

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