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Airline Ryanair has used the day of the triggering of Article 50 to urge the government to focus on, well, airlines.

In the wake of warnings from the European Commission that UK planes could face severe restrictions on European flights immediately after a “hard” Brexit, Ryanair warns that time is short, with a “distinct possibility of no flights between Europe and the UK for a period from March 2019 in the absence of a bilateral deal.”

It points out that summer 2019 schedules must be released in March next year.

Kenny Jacobs at the airline said:

It’s become worrying that the UK Government seems to have no plan B to maintain Britain’s liberalised air links with Europe, in the absence of remaining in the “Open Skies” regime.

With Britain planning to leave the EU and its Open Skies agreement, there is a distinct possibility that there may be no flights between the UK and Europe for a period of time after March 2019. The best we can hope for is a new bilateral agreement between the UK and EU, however, we worry that Britain may not be able to negotiate such a bilateral in time for the release by airlines of summer 2019 schedules in mid-2018.

Ryanair, like all airlines, plans its flights 12 months in advance, so there are just 12 months to go until we finalise our summer 2019 schedule, which could see deep cuts to our flights both to, from and within the UK from March 2019 onwards.

Related reading

Our Paul McClean has been covering this issue in depth in recent months. Here’s a few of his stories:

UK airlines warned on post-Brexit flight restrictions (March 28)

Gibraltar poses threat to post-Brexit aviation access (Feb 12)

Airlines investors face forced share sale after Brexit (Jan 27)

(Image: EPA)

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