Ryanair se­cures UK op­er­at­ing li­cence as part of Brexit plan

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS NEWS -

Ryanair has se­cured a UK-op­er­at­ing li­cence, mean­ing it can con­tinue UK do­mes­tic flights and flights from the UK to out­side the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Ryanair’s chief le­gal and reg­u­la­tory of­fi­cer Juliusz Ko­morek said: “The risk of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit in March is ris­ing, and de­spite our ro­bust post-Brexit struc­tures, in­clud­ing our post-Brexit plan around Eu­ro­pean own­er­ship, we con­tinue to call for the UK and EU to agree a tran­si­tion deal from March 31st [sic] 2019, so that any dis­rup­tion to flights and Bri­tish con­sumer sum­mer hol­i­days in 2019 can be avoided.”

The air­line ap­plied for the air-op­er­at­ing cer­tifi­cate in late 2017.

Its UK do­mes­tic routes only ac­counted for 1 per cent of ca­pac­ity in 2018, ac­cord­ing to its an­nual re­port, but it also flies from the UK to non-EU des­ti­na­tions in­clud­ing Morocco and Nor­way.

Ryanair is fac­ing own­er­ship prob­lems around Brexit too. Un­der ex­ist­ing rules, air­lines must prove they are 50 per cent EU owned and con­trolled to qual­ify for op­er­at­ing li­cences.

Ryanair has tried to re­spond to the prob­lem by pre­par­ing plans to take away vot­ing rights from its non-EU share­hold­ers to en­sure it reaches the thresh­old.

In Novem­ber, Ryanair stirred up anger among some of its pi­lots as it started to re­cruit for a UK sub­sidiary, es­tab­lished to pro­tect the com­pany against a no-deal Brexit. Pi­lots said the salaries of­fered at the sub­sidiary un­der­mined Ryanair’s claims about how much they earn – which the air­line has in­sisted would not be lower than those of pi­lots fly­ing for the par­ent group and can be up to €200,000. – Copy­right The Fi­nan­cial Times Lim­ited 2019

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