Brexit talks are now under way, time to wonder what’s going to happen to our cheap European flights…

When it comes to travel, Brexit talks have certainly raised the question (at least in my mind) of what will happen to some of the things that we’ve taken for granted until now. More simply put, what is going to happen to our £20 flights to Europe?! The final answer is still unclear, but discount airline company EasyJet is now looking at setting up in Austria, before their rights to European routes fly away.

The main concern for EasyJet here is that the ruling for the routes they have set up across Europe over the years come into jeopardy as the United Kingdom leaves the EU. The reason for this is that, to have freedom to operate within the European bloc, an airline must be majority owned by EU nationals. The founder of EasyJet, Stelios Haji-loannou, and his family hold Cyprian passports, but only hold 33% shares in the company, meaning that the shares owned by British citizens will soon hold no weight towards the EU requirements to fly across Europe. So naturally, they are now seeking to ground themselves to a country within the bloc. Austria is the winner of the lot, and from the looks of things there has been nothing but open arms for this venture from Austria’s side of things. Problem solved!

According to EasyJet, there will apparently be no change whatsoever for passengers, or those who work for EasyJet within the UK. It looks to me that the air operator’s certificate they are seeking in Austria is effectively concrete permission from the country for the airline to operate there – and from there, operate within Europe. So the next thought here is now how other airlines are going to secure themselves during the Brexit negotiations. I can’t see any reason so far why the competition budget airline companies – RyanAir, Monarch, Jet2 and the like – cannot simply just adopt the same route to solution that EasyJet has taken. My only concern is that although we have had a promise that no changes will incur to UK staff of EasyJet, or to UK passengers or the airline, this cannot be a certain on a long term scale. The truth of the matter is that Brexit is the first negotiation of this kind that the UK businesses have seen, and the future is uncertain for everybody. This doesn’t necessarily jump straight to a negative uncertainty at all. Rather, claims  cannot be made in certainty when regarding the future day to day running of UK businesses, that have until now operated freely within the EU. If they do (which EasyJet have), they risk having to go to costly length to prove their claims to be true, or face a PR nightmare that could quickly see the company’s reputation grounded for a number of years.

In my personal opinion I do not think that we will be seeing the reign of discount flights continuing for much longer. Even if it does continue, I think that it will not carry all the current discount airlines with it, the numbers will streamline and therefore we will be faced with fewer options. With fewer options comes higher demand for flights, and with higher demand for flights we will soon see our price of our discount flights go sky high – 30,000ft, some would argue…

In the meantime, until the dust cloud settles on the uncertainty of cheap flights surrounding Brexit, why not try out our flight comparison system to find the cheapest possible flights for your budget…

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