According to leaked European Commission documents, UK airlines are set to lose their rights to fly in the EU due to the government’s decision to leave the single market. It states that UK-owned airlines will automatically lose existing flying rights in the EU’s liberalised aviation market.
The paper also warns that a no-deal Brexit would lead to the grounding of many UK flights. It was noted that there are no World Trade Organisation fallback options for aviation and that old bilateral agreements between EU countries and the UK would not be revived in any case.
EasyJet and some other UK carriers have already begun to establish European offshoots in an attempt to minimise potential disruption after Brexit. Big European carriers such as Lufthansa and Air France see the potential to exploit Brexit talks to squeeze out budget carrier rivals such as EasyJet and Ryanair.