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BREXIT

Flights between France and the UK could be grounded in no-deal Brexit

The British government has released a new set of Brexit "impact notices" on Monday, one of which warns that if there's a no-deal divorce with the EU then planes between the UK and France plus other EU countries could be grounded.

Flights between France and the UK could be grounded in no-deal Brexit

Flights between the UK and France would almost certainly be hit if Britain leaves the bloc without a deal because EU licences would not be valid, London has warned.

In its latest set of impact notices the British government has warned that planes would be stuck at airports after Brexit Day on March 29th because the aviation licences issued by the EU would not be valid.

That would mean airlines having to apply for “individual permissions” to operate between respective states.

This is what the government said in full:

“If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place, UK and EU licensed airlines would lose the automatic right to operate air services between the UK and the EU without seeking advance permission.

“This would mean that airlines operating between the UK and the EU would need to seek individual permissions to operate. EU-licensed airlines would lose the ability to operate wholly within the UK (e.g. from Heathrow to Edinburgh), and UK-licensed airlines would lose the ability to operate intra-EU air services (e.g. from Milan to Paris).

“If there is ‘no deal’ with the EU, airlines wishing to operate flights between the UK and the EU would have to seek individual permissions to operate from the respective states (be that the UK or an EU country). In this scenario the UK would envisage granting permission to EU airlines to continue to operate. We would expect EU countries to reciprocate in turn. It would not be in the interest of any EU country or the UK to restrict the choice of destinations that could be served, though if such permissions are not granted, there could be disruption to some flights.

“In order to ensure permissions were granted and flights continued, the UK’s preference would be to agree a basic arrangement or understanding on a multilateral basis between the UK and the EU.

“Alternatively, bilateral arrangements between the UK and an individual EU country could be put in place, specifying the conditions under which air services would be permitted. By definition any such agreement would be reciprocal in nature. The European Commission has previously acknowledged that a ‘bare bones’ agreement on air services would be desirable in the event of the UK leaving with ‘no deal’.

“In the scenario where a provisional deal is agreed for air services, airlines will continue to be required to apply for the following associated permissions.”

For more information you can read the full impact notice here.

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TRAVEL NEWS

France may cut Channel islands ferry service after post-Brexit collapse in visitor numbers

Visits to the Channel islands from France have halved since Brexit, and French local authorities say they may be forced to cut the regular ferry service, asking for the passport requirement to be waived for French visitors.

France may cut Channel islands ferry service after post-Brexit collapse in visitor numbers

Travel to and from the Channel islands – which are British crown dependancies – has reduced significantly since Brexit, when passports became a requirement for those travelling in and out of the islands and their ports.

Now the president of the local authorities in the Manche département of France has asked that passport requirements be lifted, with hopes of increasing travel to and from the islands.

Jean Morin told Ouest France that there has been a “considerable reduction in the number of passengers on routes between the Channel ports and the islands” and as a result the ferry service between France and the islands was seriously in deficit.

“On these lines, we will never make money, but we cannot be in deficit”, explained the Morin. 

He added that if a solution is not found by the deadline of May 1st, 2023, then local authorities will stop funding the shipping company DNO, which runs the Manche Îles Express ferry service.

“If the passport requirement is not lifted by then, we will have no choice but not to renew the service contract for 2024-2025”, Morin told Ouest France.

Only around half of French people have a passport, since the ID card issued to all adults is sufficient to travel within the EU. 

READ MORE: Ask the Expert: How Brexit has changed the rules on pensions, investments and bank accounts for Brits in France

DNO re-launched operations in April and since then, the company, and by extension the département – who plays a large role in funding it via a public service delegation – has been losing significant funds.

According to Franceinfo, the number of passengers has been cut in half since passport requirements were introduced. Franceinfo estimates that for one ticket for one passenger costing €30, the département spends €200.

According to Morin, the ideal solution would be to require a simple ID for tourists seeking to take just day-long or weekend-long stays on the islands – which reportedly represents at least 90 percent of the boats’ usual passengers.

“The Jersey government is working hard on the issue and is waiting for an agreement from London and the European Union. There is the possibility that things could move quickly”, Morin told Franceinfo on Tuesday.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, boats going to and from the French mainland carried at least 110,000 people per year. In 2022, only 40,000 passengers made the journey, Olivier Normand, the sales manager of Manche Îles Express, told Actu France.

Normand had expected the decline, however. He told Actu France that the company had taken a survey, which found that almost half (between 40 and 50 percent) of their clientele did not have a passport. 

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