Ryanair less alarmist over possible Brexit fallout

01/02/2018 | 291 words

Ryanair appeared Wednesday less concerned than previously about a possible fallout for the Irish no-frills airline following Brexit, as Britain and Brussels seek to agree a transition period.

Britain accounts for about one-quarter of revenues earned by the Irish no-frills airline, causing Ryanair express alarm in 2017 regarding perceived risks of the country exiting the European Union.

But addressing a press conference in London on Wednesday, Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs told reporters he believed "there is clearly going to be an extension to Brexit".

The European Union's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday insisted that Britain must accept all EU laws during a post-Brexit transition period, including those made after it leaves.

The EU negotiator also stressed that Britain would have no decision-making power in the EU during the transition, which the bloc wants to run from March 29, 2019, when Britain leaves, until the end of 2020.

Jacobs meanwhile envisaged a longer transition period.

"April 2019 will probably become 24 or 30 months after that that you really have a Brexit and in the meantime everything will continue and regulation will continue," Jacobs added Wednesday.

"Practically speaking I think that is what will happen."

Britain's airline industry has soared over the past two decades under the Single European Sky system, which lifted trade restrictions on EU airlines.

But fearing much turbulence because of Brexit, Ryanair and other airlines have applied for a British operating licence in case Britain leaves the European Union next year without an aviation deal.

There are concerns across the industry that Brexit could severely disrupt air traffic between Britain and continental Europe.

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