British airlines to get back-up, if necessary

SPANISH authorities says it will have a back-up aviation deal with the UK in case of widespread disruption to post-Brexit air travel.

Jorge Toledo, Deputy Minister for European Affairs, said that if an EU-UK aviation deal did not go through, Spain would have its own to ensure the constant return of British tourists.

“If there isn’t an agreement, then we will have a Plan B ready,” said Toledo, 52. “It would be necessary to work on a European solution, and also on a national-based solution.”

Airlines tend to make their flight plans one year in advance, so Spain still has about four months to see if a back-up plan will be necessary, said Toledo in an interview in Madrid.

As Brexit talks stall, Spain wants to protect its tourism industry, which drew 18 million Britons last year.

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary warned in August that airlines would be “screaming blue murder” next year if a wide-ranging deal on aviation hadn’t been reached.

Spain fully supports the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. But a collapse of the talks would threaten tourism and commercial links.

This would include the role played by Spanish firms, such as Banco Santander SA and Iberdrola SA, in the UK economy.




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