On the 24th of June 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU by a vote of 51.9% to 48.1%. The remain campaign vehemently argued that doing so would be detrimental to the current aviation arrangement where the UK can currently fly openly to Europe and would bring up the price of air travel substantially.
Now that the British people have spoken the question remains what impact will this have in reality to the price of flights to Europe.
Here is what some of the leading figures in aviation have to say in relation to this turn of events -
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou - founder of Easyjet
"it is very possible that - in a post- Brexit Europe - a more restrictive aviation environment would mean fewer flights from the UK to Europe and hence less competition between airlines....That in turn would mean higher air fares so that the price of a family holiday to the Med will go back up again to levels last seen in the 1980s."
Michael O Leary - CEO of Ryanair - Asked about the future of Ryanair said
“We are taking another 50 aircraft next year. Would we place any of those in the UK? It is highly unlikely... We will pivot all of our growth into the European Union.”
Carolyn Mcall - CEO of Easyjet
“We have today written to the UK Government and the European Commission to ask them to prioritise the UK remaining part of the single EU aviation market, given its importance to trade and consumers,”
As we can see their is real trepidation amongst aviation leaders as to what this could mean for air travel in the future, however it may not be all doom and gloom.
Potential Solutions to the Current Problem
A current solution may lie in the model Norwegian airlines has adopted. They still offer cheap flights to Europe despite not being a member of the European Union. This is due to negotiating an agreement for access to the single aviation market within the EEA (European Economic Area).
If the UK can negotiate a similar deal we will see very little change to the status quo.
We can rest assured aviation leaders will be doing everything in their power in the coming weeks and months to ensure access to the single EU aviation market is maintained and that cheap flight offers to Europe from the UK can continue uninterrupted.