The Chief Executive of the International Airlines Group (IAG), Willie Walsh, is feeling confident that a deal would be settled to secure Britain’s flying rights after Brexit.
Walsh recently told the audience at the Airlines for Europe conference that he expects Britain to negotiate deals that would keep flights from being grounded.
“I am a firm believer that this will get resolved,” Walsh boldly stated during the event.
He also shrugged off a recent report that indicated that the United States had offered Britain a deal that was worse than the one it currently has under the EU-US
Open Skies agreement.
“The people who are involved in the negotiations say we’re going to get a deal. There will be a comprehensive Open Skies agreement. Anyone who doesn’t believe that is living in cloud cuckoo land,” Walsh remarked, the confidence palpable in his remarks.
However, Ryanair’s Chief Executive was less enthused about the subject matter, saying he expects major interruptions of flights between Britain and the rest of Europe in the wake of Brexit.
“I think there will be a real crisis in April 2019. I believe there will be disruption to flights between the UK and Europe,” said Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary at the same event.
After Brexit, British airlines are looking to continue to benefit from EU flying rights and the British government has said it would try to notch an open-access deal.
Flying rights to, from and within the European Union, as well as between the United States and Britain, are at the moment, covered by EU-wide Open Skies agreements.
Britain needs to secure new deals because, without EU membership, the country’s aviation sector does not have a fallback deal that would allow airlines to keep on flying.