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British Airways announced today that the airline would “continue to fly all our customers to their destinations and operate a normal schedule whether a deal is agreed or if the UK leaves the EU with no deal in place.” Codeshare flights would also continue operating per usual, as well as new European routes.
On the surface, the impending Brexit on March 29 may seem like a political change-up that doesn’t affect the average American very much. But the impact of Great Britain leaving the European Union has far-reaching impact for a number of industries, including commercial aviation.
A no-deal Brexit could result in “chaos,” higher fares, immigration disputes and delays. An industry group has cautioned that up to five million passenger tickets might be canceled, since the UK would be limited to a capped number of flights for 2019, severely stunting airline operations and revenue. France has invested $56.8 million in its airports in light of complications from a no-deal Brexit scenario. British low-cost carrier Ryanair has struggled mightily in the face of a looming Brexit, losing $22 million in Q3 2018, although the airline did secure approval for continued operations under Ryanair UK.
Even the littlest details have officials scrambling for a worst-case scenario: the rubber gloves UK security officers use for screening all come from the EU, and there may be a national shortage if a deal can’t be struck before the upcoming deadline.
But not all is doom and gloom: shortly after the Brexit process is complete, travelers from five countries, including the US, will get “skip the line” privileges bypassing London’s notoriously lengthy immigration lines at airports for expedited entry.
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