June 1, 2017 / 3:56 PM / in a year

Global airlines body sees risk of major disruption to air traffic if no Brexit deal

BERLIN, June 1 (Reuters) - Global airlines warned on Thursday of “major disruption” if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal on aviation traffic.

Traffic between the UK and other EU member states is currently covered by the EU Open Skies deal which allows EU airlines unlimited flying rights to, from and within other EU countries.

If no overall Brexit deal is agreed within the two year time frame for negotiations, it is unclear what rules would govern airlines with significant British and EU business after Brexit.

International Air Transport Association Director General Alexandre de Juniac said the association had identified a risk in terms of access to the UK by non-UK carriers and access to Europe by UK carriers following Brexit.

“A negotiation that didn’t take into account the question of traffic rights would create a major disruption in crossings between the UK and Europe, and our position is to say ‘please maintain connectivity’,” de Juniac said on Thursday.

Low cost carrier Ryanair has warned that in the worst case Brexit scenario flights could be halted between the UK and Europe.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan

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