ACI Europe: Brexit still a “burning issue” and airline protectionism looms large
Dr Michael Kerkloh, President of ACI Europe (the association of airport operators), has issued fresh warnings about the potential impact of Brexit and the shadow of airline protectionism.
Kerkloh was speaking at ACI Europe’s New Year Reception in the European Parliament this week.
He warned: “The risks of a ‘no deal scenario’ are real – and for now, we still remain completely in the dark as to what will happen at the end of the transition."
"One thing is pretty clear though – the political dynamics shaping these negotiations are very much at odds with business interests.”By Dr Michael Kerkloh, President of ACI Europe
He added: “Over the past 20 months, ACI EUROPE has repeatedly stressed the need to keep the most liberal aviation regime between the UK and the EU – to safeguard air connectivity. Anything more restrictive than the current Single Aviation Market will come at a cost. There is just no winning alternative.”
Open Skies and 868
Dr Kerkloh, who is also CEO of Munich Airport, went on to speak about the current revision of EU Regulation 868/2004 and its impact on unfair trading practices in aviation.
He said: “We are worried that some are trying to use the revision of Regulation 868 to advance a protectionist agenda. Don’t get me wrong: Open Skies need to go hand in hand with fair competition and we do support the Commission proposal. But the rules must be crystal clear and specific – they should not be open to different interpretations. Also, Regulation 868 should be triggered only when damage is demonstrated and only as a last resort – after all other applicable dispute resolution mechanisms have been exhausted. These are essential safeguards to prevent abuses in the use of this Regulation and maintain trust with our trading partners internationally.”
Bracing for Brexit
A survey from the UK pilots’ association BALPA, released earlier this week, found that only one in ten pilots think Brexit will have a positive impact on the UK aviation industry.
ADS recently called for an urgent agreement on a transition deal to ensure a smooth UK exit from the European Union. The trade association for the UK’s aerospace, defence, security and space sectors, also set out five steps for UK companies to take now to prepare their business for Brexit.