Britain’s airports warned the European Union and the United Kingdom that an interim aviation arrangement, also known as an Open Skies agreement, must be a priority in order to avoid a massive slump in revenue following the U.K.’s exit from the EU.
The report, prepared by WPI Economics and obtained by Sky News Tuesday, was submitted to the UK Government by Gatwick, Heathrow, London City, Manchester and Stansted airports. The group urged the U.K. and the EU to come to some sort of new arrangement by October 2018.
The absence of a new agreement could drastically reduce the number of passengers that book through the U.K. Bookings could drop by 41 percent at the U.K.’s busiest airports if a new agreement is not made. The Open Skies arrangement governs the rules for flying in and out of the UK.
“With airlines, passengers and airports having to plan months if not years in advance, this has potentially detrimental consequences for UK competitiveness, trade, growth and living standards,” the report states. “Which all become more significant the longer that UK and EU negotiators fail to deliver a new trading relationship or transitional deal.”
British government officials said that they have met with their EU counterparts, where talks have been “positive.” The U.K. has been speaking with its EU counterparts, as well as with the United States in order to come up with a new agreement.
The United States has 120 Open Skies agreements with countries from around the world. The agreements are meant to expand international passenger and cargo flight. Any significant slump in the UK’s aviation sector would serve as a major blow to the economy as a whole.
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