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IATA highlights Brexit risks
Heathrow Airport. © Heathrow Airport

IATA highlights Brexit risks

Concerned about a possible “no deal” scenario, IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac is calling for greater transparency on the state of UK-EU discussions.

Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has warned of the risks facing the air transport sector if the UK and European Union fail to reach agreement on the conditions for the UK's departure from the EU (Brexit) on 29th March.

An agreement could pave the way for a transition period starting on that date, until the new relations between London and the EU come into force.

The move adds to growing signs of nervousness in many business sectors about the lack of preparations to mitigate the disruptions that seem likely to follow a so-called “hard” Brexit, with the two sides apparently making little or no headway in reaching an agreement defining their future relations.

In a statement, de Juniac warned that “the UK government’s papers on the air transport implications of a 'no deal' departure from the EU clearly expose the extreme seriousness of what is at stake and underscore the huge amount of work that would be required to maintain vital air links.”

He goes on: “It is not just permission for flights to take off and land. Everything from pilots’ licenses to security arrangements need to be agreed. Much of this could be secured through mutual recognition of existing standards. But formalising this cannot happen overnight. And even when that is done, there will still be an administrative burden for the airlines and governments involved that will take time and significant resources.”

The IATA DG concludes: “While we still hope for a comprehensive EU-UK deal, an assumption that 'it will be all right on the night' is far too risky to accept. Every contingency should be prepared for, and we call upon both the EU and the UK to be far more transparent with the state of the discussions.”

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