Brexit decision worries IATA

Tony Tyler

Tony Tyler

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed concerns over the financial and economic impact the Brexit decision would have on the air transport industry.

In its preliminary analysis of the Brexit decision, IATA stated that as leaders in the UK and the EU work to establish a new framework for their relationship, one certainty to guide them is the need and desire of people on both sides of that relationship to travel and trade.

The body, which noted that air transport plays a major role in making that possible, added that there were 117 million air passenger journeys between the United Kingdom and the European Union in 2015.

“Air links facilitate business, support jobs and build prosperity. It is critical that whatever form the new UK-EU relationship takes, it must continue to ensure the common interests of safe, secure, efficient and sustainable air connectivity,” the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of IATA, Tony Tyler said.

According to IATA, as the UK has voted to leave the EU, “considerable uncertainty remains regarding the precise detail of the exit and it could be two years or more before these issues are fully resolved. Prolonged uncertainty will influence both the magnitude and persistence of the economic impacts.”

It further said the preliminary estimates suggested that the number of UK air passengers could be three to five per cent lower by 2020, driven by the expected downturn in economic activity and the fall in the sterling exchange rate.

“The near-term impact on the UK air freight market is less certain, but freight will be affected by lower international trade in the longer term. Also, the UK faces a trade-off between accessing the European single aviation market and having the policy freedom to set its own regulations,” the statement added.

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