Ryanair to pivot growth away from UK

- Reuters, LONDON

Apr 7, 2017-

Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers, plans to pivot its growth away from Britain over the next two years as it fears the lack of clarity over Brexit will cause major travel disruption and hit demand.

Airlines such as Ryanair and rival easyJet have urged the British government to put aviation at the front of the queue when negotiating its EU exit because they need to finalise their 2019 summer schedules in the first half of next year.

Airlines based in the EU have the right to fly to, from and within any country in the bloc thanks to the single aviation market created in the 1990s, meaning Britain has just two years to renegotiate access or come up with an alternative system.

“Ryanair is pivoting its growth away from the UK,” Finance Director Neil Sorahan told reporters in London, adding that the airline had planned to grow by about 15 percent in the UK last year but had instead posted growth of about 6 percent.“Brexit will inevitably lead to a slowdown in growth in the UK. We haven’t seen it yet, but we believe it will lead to a slowdown in growth in both the UK and the EU, as both parties have to deal with a completely new scenario.”

Sorahan added that the growth may slow more sharply as we get closer to the end of the two-year divorce process, unless the government can provide greater certainty as to how airlines will be able to operate in the future.

He added that the airline had not yet decided whether it would try to secure a British air operating licence, and could instead cut its flights within Britain, which account for around 2 percent of its business. 

Published: 07-04-2017 09:25

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