By: Kevin Rozario   •   email:

Duty free and travel retailers should be concerned that there seems to be precious little agreement among airlines on securing the aviation single market after the UK leaves the EU.

While airports body, ACI Europe is clear it wants to keep the aviation single market as intact as possible, key carriers have different agendas.

Europe’s largest airline association, A4E (whose members account for more than 70% of the continent’s journeys) has not made a statement on the topic beyond the broad-brush “we want passengers to enjoy the benefits of a liberalised aviation market in the future”. A4E airlines include Lufthansa, Air France-KLM, IAG, easyJet and Ryanair – a very mixed bag.

Olivier Jankovec, pictured above, Director General of ACI Europe, has openly stated: “Airlines such as Air France-KLM and Lufthansa are not pushing for the continued integration of the UK in the single aviation market.” He has cautioned about “economic consequences” if the UK does not remain closely tied to the EU-27 aviation market.

Airline opposition could be disastrous for some EU markets, as current expansive route networks from the UK are likely to be constrained. Five EU-27 countries rely for more than 20% of their air traffic on the UK: Ireland, Slovak Republic, Cyprus, Malta and Poland (see table).

“Contingencies need to be established in case the UK exits the EU without an agreement,” warns Jankovec. In the above context, the DF&TR business may well need to plan its own contingencies to avoid any shocks that lay in wait around the corner.

EU markets most exposed to the UK

Peter Marshall

Founder: Arts
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