Ryanair has warned any tickets sold for summer 2019 could be stamped with a Brexit warning, telling passengers their flights could be grounded.
Tickets for the period are due to be made available in September, but the budget airline - which has been outspoken in its opposition to the UK leaving the European Union - said that it would add a Brexit clause to all bookings in case the Open Skies Agreement, which allows EU airlines to operate freely across the bloc, ends when Britain formally leaves the Union in March 2019.
It said passengers would be entitled to refunds if their flights were cancelled. Other airlines, including Easyjet and BA could follow suit and issue warnings of their own on tickets sold for flights after the date of the UK's departure.
Experts believe it is highly unlikely no deal on air travel will be reached, given its importance to both the UK and EU.
But Ryanair has decided that, pending a formal agreement, it shall inform passengers booking tickets for after March 2019, that flights between the UK and EU could be grounded because, while other industries can rely on World Trade Organisation rules to continue trading, the aviation industry has no such fallback.
“We don’t see a regulatory solution yet,” Ryanair marketing chief Kenny Jacobs said on Thursday in London. “If in the meantime between now and September, there’s a regulatory solution found, then those tickets will be sold as normal.
“If we don’t have any new news between now and then, we’ll need to work out the wording,” he said. “We hope we don’t have to, that we do see some kind of clarity.”
The airline has also set-up a UK-based subsidiary to allow it to continue operating internal UK flights in case a deal is not met.
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