Demands from airlines to use an expanded Heathrow give the UK ‘strong cards in our hand’ for Brexit negotiations, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said.
The minister expressed confidence that flights will not be grounded after the UK withdraws from the EU because ‘it’s in the interests of everyone’ to maintain the open market for aviation.
The article mentions that Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has repeatedly warned that airlines will be forced to cancel post-Brexit services from March 2019 if no agreement is reached by September, because schedules are planned about six months in advance.
Speaking at the annual dinner of trade body Airlines UK, Mr Grayling claimed the planned third runway at Heathrow will help the UK secure the continuation of flights.
He said: “The demands of airlines across Europe to access Heathrow means we have strong cards in our hand for the negotiations.” Grayling told the audience of airline leaders, including British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz, that ‘UK airlines and airports will continue to flourish’ and he is ‘absolutely sure that we will have a good working relationship’ with the EU.