Brexit and aviation: clouds of uncertainty remain as flybmi winds up

Premium Analysis

As the UK reaches the final month before its scheduled exit from the European Union on 29-Mar-2019, considerable uncertainty remains over the nature of that departure.

Three outcomes remain possible: departure based on an agreed withdrawal deal, a no deal exit, or a delayed exit.

Brexit based on an agreed deal would preserve all existing arrangements for a transition period to the end of 2020. In the case of the aviation industry, airlines would retain their current market access and safety regulation and have time to reach a new comprehensive air transport agreement (but that might not be quite as liberal as it is today).

Under a no deal scenario, the UK and EU look likely to agree a 'bare bones' air transport agreement to preserve some market access and to extend safety regulation for a while.

A delayed exit would just push back the point at which one of the other two options needs to be chosen, but would also keep alive the unlikely possibility that Brexit could be reversed.

Meanwhile, the uncertainty created by Brexit is taking its toll. The UK regional airline flybmi (formerly trading as bmi regional) entered administration and ceased operations on 16-Feb-2019, attributing much of the blame to Brexit-related factors.

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