An exit from the EU could mean Britons would pay more for holidays in continental Europe with some experts predicting that the costs of flights and packages could greatly increase, should the referendum produce an exit vote on June 23.
If Britain was no longer part of the EU, new air service agreements might have to be negotiated, competition could be reduced and fares could rise.
“The single aviation area gives airlines freedom to fly across Europe,” an Easyjet spokesman explained, “and since it’s introduction passengers have seen fares fall by around 40 per cent and routes increase by 180 per cent.”
Should Brexit occur, today’s affordable trips to the continent might well be unsustainable. The effect on airfares will depend on how, and to what extent, a post-EU Britain chooses to try to replicate it’s existing access to the EU single aviation market. Increased air fares may lead to a reduction in the numbers of passengers which could result in some companies reducing or even closing routes to some destinations.
One of the key rights that passengers would lose in many circumstances relates to flight delays or cancellations. Passengers are currently eligible for financial compensation if a flight departing from an EU airport or arriving in the eurozone with an EU carrier is delayed for a reason within the airline’s control but that regulation would no longer apply to those flying out of UK airports if we were to leave the EU.
“If Britain was to leave the EU then any passenger departing from the UK would have no right to compensation, but more importantly they would have no entitlement to care and assistance,” a spokesman for flight compensation lawyers Bott & Co said.
“That could mean no food and drink or overnight accommodation, and the real possibility of families left sleeping on airport floors overnight.”
“Airlines already make it very difficult for passengers to claim compensation and don’t always provide appropriate care and assistance. We’d expect this to get much worse if they are not legally obliged to properly look after their customers.”
It has also been suggested by experts that Brexit would mean that the EU’s new package holiday rules, which give more rights to tourists, would not apply in Britain when they are introduced in June 2018. The rules are expected to save consumers about £330million a year and include stronger cancellation rights in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as natural disaster or even war.
Another possible adverse factor could be the effect on the value of the pound and thus the cost of aviation fuel. Airline companies spend a third of their total operating cost on fuel and therefore the cost of this is always going to have a significant affect on ticket prices. This will obviously apply to all destinations not just flights inside the EU.
For a more detailed report read Brexit up in the air: implications for aviation if the UK votes to leave the European Union by the Centre for Aviation
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