Airline bosses downplayed the impact of the referendum vote at an Airlines for Europe summit in Brussels on Tuesday.
EasyJet chief executive Caroline McCall dismissed the turmoil as “short-term turbulence”.
Willie Walsh, head of BA parent IAG, insisted: “The fundamentals haven’t changed.” And Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said: “I don’t think it will have any long-term impact on Ryanair.”
Walsh declared he was “disappointed”, but said: “People are not going to stop flying into and out of the UK.
McCall said: “Demand was strong before and that hasn’t changed. Pricing is more challenging, but that is a capacity issue and it is easyJet and Ryanair driving that by adding capacity.
“We’re going through a little turbulence due to a seismic political decision. It’s a short to medium-term issue and we’ll find a way through. The aviation industry is used to change.”
Referring to easyJet’s profits warning on Monday, McCall said: “We issued that because of the [strike] action by French air traffic controllers.
Nothing will change overnight. Much depends on the new agreement the UK negotiates.”
Walsh insisted: “The French air traffic control strikes are the most important issue. Air traffic strikes stop me moving my customers. The vote on Thursday does not.”
He added: “Europe benefits from a deregulated market and we believe it will continue to benefit.”
O’Leary said: “I don’t think the UK will leave the single market. If you can tell me what [Boris] Johnson and [Michael] Gove will do, I can tell you with more accuracy what we’ll do. But whether it’s a volcano in Iceland or Brexit we’ll work around it.”
He added: “I don’t think there will be any dip or decline in eastern European people flying to and from the UK. Big cities need people to do jobs.”
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