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Brexit takes first casualty

UK-based regional airline flybmi has become the latest casualty in Europe’s increasingly challenged aviation sector.
 
UK-based regional airline flybmi has become the latest casualty in Europe’s increasingly challenged aviation sector. On the evening of 16 February 2019, flybmi announced it was to go into administration and would cease operations immediately. All flights were cancelled, and uncertainties related to the UK's Brexit process were cited as one of the reasons for the company's collapse.
 
The airline said its actions could not be prevented after it faced difficulties including increases in fuel and carbon costs. A spokesman said the latter had arisen from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme.
 
Understandably, the airline said current trading and future prospects had also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which had let to its inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and lack of confidence around bmi’s ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe, the airline said in a statement.
 
So, what can we learn from the flybmi experience? Well, firstly it's now clear what the consequences can be without a clear aviation plan from Brexit, and it’s extremely likely that other airline casualties will follow. There is still a lot of concern by the European regional aviation community regarding how the aviation sector will pan out post Brexit.
 
The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) for instance has strongly advocated that the European Commission and the UK Department of Transport put in place a comprehensive agreement for aviation that mirrors the current situation with the UK as the highest priority, and that they reach a solution that will allow airlines to continue operating as they do today, enabling Europeans to continue benefiting from affordable and stress-free travel.
 
The disastrous consequences for the aviation industry, both in the UK and the rest of Europe, will be significant, and ERA believes this current airline failure is only the beginning, if resolving the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit agreement is not taken as a matter of urgency. 

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