Budget UK airlines Ryanair is feeling no impact of the possibility of a no deal Brexit if one considers the number of bookings that the airline is taking in for the days at the end of March when the Brexit is scheduled to officially set in. According to the company, it has been taking in record numbers of flight bookings this week and customers do not seem to be avoiding any fear of a no Brexit deal by the end of March which could result in airlines being completely grounded.
There could be quite a chaos after Britain’s departure from the EU, the airline had warned. Ryanair is the largest airline in Europe in terms of passenger numbers. In order to cover the no Brexit deal eventuality, the airline has amended its booking terms and conditions.
The airline now has said that its sales have not been affected by Brexit uncertainties even for the days that fall immediately on or after the official date for the exit of the UK from the European Union, March 29. The airline reported attaining a new record of having 5.25 million visitors to its website website and app on Tuesday. But the company did not reveal the number of visits that was converted into seat bookings.
Flights would continue as normal during a transition period between the UK and the rest of Europe if there is a draft deal between the UK and the EU which is ratified. Flights could continue between the UK and Europe in the event of no deal, claimed a paper published by the European commission last week. However the paper noted that both the sides need to resolve all questions of ownership and control – issues that could impact individual airlines’ rights to operate.
According to the E#U rules on airlines, majority stakes and control over airlines have to be with EU nationals. After Brexit, Ryanair would be classified as a foreign airline in the UK because 54 per cent of it is EU-owned, with just over 20 per cent of its shares are owned by UK nationals.
An agreement with the EU has been reached by Ryanair where it has pledged to restirct the voting rights of all of its non-EU shareholders, the airline said.
Flight disruption “absolutely was a possibility until we saw the transition agreement and the no-deal documents,” said Kenny Jacobs, its chief marketing officer.
Even the weak pound had not dented the demand, he said. “I hope [our warnings] got politicians to act a little faster but I saw no evidence consumers were anxious. It would take a long time for the British consumer to not go on holiday.”
In the past, Ryanair had been benefited by a weak economy because the majority of flyers sought economy fares, said Jacobs even while admitting that holidaymakers were more frugal.
(Adapted from EuroNews.com)