07 Mar

ABTA welcomes UK Government’s confirmation that flights will continue in a no-deal Brexit

The UK Government has today confirmed that it will reciprocate the European Union’s arrangements for air travel in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which has been welcomed by ABTA – The Travel Association.


This confirms that EU airlines will be able to continue to operate flights between the UK and the EU, even in the event of a no-deal Brexit.


It reciprocates the plans the European Commission is putting in place, which would allow UK airlines to operate routes to and from the UK to EU countries. They will also be able to make stops in EU countries and fly over EU airspace.


The European Parliament is due to vote on Wednesday 13 March to approve the legislation, with the final vote in Council to take place within the next two weeks. Initially the European Commission said flights for this year would be capped at Summer 2018 levels in a no-deal, however it has now been confirmed that this has been removed from the final legislation.


Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA – The Travel Association said:


“Today’s announcement provides further assurance that, whatever the outcome of Brexit, travellers can continue to book holidays and business trips with confidence.


“Europe is the most popular holiday destination for UK travellers with 58 million trips1 made to the continent each year. More than three in five people2 are planning to take a trip to Europe this year, so travellers will be pleased to see the final confirmation from the UK on their ability to fly even in the event of a no-deal.


“It’s worth remembering that if the UK and the EU agree a deal, we will be in a transition period and everything will stay the same for travel until the end of 2020 – meaning people can continue to travel to the EU exactly as they do now.


“While it is encouraging that there are plans in place for a no-deal scenario, we encourage politicians to work to avoid a no-deal Brexit.”


ABTA and its Members are offering advice to holidaymakers and business travellers heading to the UK after Brexit – with our latest information available at abta.com/Brexit.



For further information, contact:

Emma Brennan, Head of Media & PR, ebrennan@abta.co.uk  020 3117 0514

ABTA press office, press@abta.co.uk or 020 3117 0596


Out of Hours:  Contact the Duty Press Officer via landline: 020 3693 0183

Web: www.abta.com

Twitter: @ABTAtravel


Notes to editors

1ONS Travel Trends estimates 2017: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/leisureandtourism/datasets/ukresidentsvisitsabroad


2ABTA Holiday Habits report 2018: https://www.abta.com/industry-zone/reports-and-publications/abta-holiday-habits-reports


ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence.

The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.


We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.


ABTA has around 1,200 Members, with a combined annual UK turnover of £38 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.