Airline bookings will suffer without Brexit deal soon, says IATA

Half of Britons meanwhile reckon flight delays and cancellations are likely to occur in the aftermath of a no-deal Brexit, according to the results of a poll of 3,000 people by KPMG

A deal removing the risk of disruption to flights when Britain leaves the European Union must be hammered out within weeks or bookings will begin to suffer, the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned.

While tickets for the period immediately after Brexit on March 29—which coincides with the start of the airline industry’s summer season—have been available for months, the main sales rush should be just beginning, Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s chief executive officer, said in an interview Tuesday.

“The massive sell out is now, six months in advance,” De Juniac said at Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London. “Everybody thinks there’ll be a solution and so they’re not deterred from buying a ticket. But the closer we get to April, the more uncertain things are and the bigger the impact will be.”

IATA said last year that airlines faced an effective October deadline for concrete measures guaranteeing the continuation of services beyond Brexit. Instead, Britain on Monday published aviation guidelines for a no-deal split that highlighted the risk of disruption to flights from a possible EU refusal to extend both traffic rights and technical approvals of aircraft and parts.

IATA, which represents about 290 airlines accounting for more than 80% of global traffic, will publicly make its concerns more explicit if nothing is forthcoming soon, De Juniac told Bloomberg. The notion that the issue of grounded flights could be addressed in the final hours approaching the Brexit deadline is nonsensical, he added…

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