Aviation is one of the sectors most vulnerable to the impact of the UK leaving the EU as air transport services (including air traffic rights) are excluded from the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services, meaning that there is no fallback arrangement in the absence of agreement between the parties. It will therefore come as a relief to many airlines that EU contingency legislation was published on December 10, 2020. It bears many similarities to that published in March 2019 to ensure basic connectivity in the event of ‘No deal’. Details of that contingency legislation were summarised in a previous Legalflyer article here.
Please see this article in the December edition of our aviation industry publication Legalflyer for more detail on the latest EU contingency legislation, as well as other issues resulting from the UK’s exit from the EU which still need to be addressed, such as air traffic rights with third countries and the UK’s approach to emissions regulation. It is important to note that the situation remains fluid. Airlines and other aviation businesses will need to closely monitor developments as further information emerges.