Brexit should no longer affect Britons heading off on holidays next summer with UK airlines should there be no-deal Brexit, it has been revealed. Under previous European Commission (EC) legislation, the deadline for their unilateral contingency legislation was set for March 2020. Customers will now able to safely book travel arrangements further in advance. With the deadline extended to October 2020, flight schedules will not be affected.
Brexit flights: UK airlines safe to fly to EU until at least October 2020
The news is set to affect the more than 160 million passengers who travel by air between the UK and the EU each year.
The Department of Transport said in statement: “The extension builds on arrangements announced in March this year, which ensured that air services between the UK and the EU could continue to operate as usual until March 2020, regardless of whether a new Brexit deal is agreed.
“The move comes as the EU finalises its post 31 October aviation regulation that will continue to protect UK airlines flying into Europe.
“Both the UK and the EU’s actions will ensure continued confidence for passengers across the continent as they travel on their holidays or conduct business in the year ahead.”
Grant Shapps, Secretary of State, commented: “We welcome these proposals from the European Commission to extend arrangements allowing flights and road haulage to continue between the UK and EU after Brexit.
“Connectivity is at the forefront of this government’s vision for a global, outward-facing Britain and these extensions between the UK and EU ensure that it will be business as usual when travelling and trading for the foreseeable future.”
The deadline extension follows lobbying by British Travel Association ABTA with key EU destination countries.
The news should boost consumer confidence for next summer in both the UK and EU.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said: “ABTA has been pushing hard for this extension, which is to the mutual benefit of UK customers and the EU, and we are encouraged that the European Commission has responded today by extending the deadline.
“This legislation was originally passed as a contingency measure in the event of a no-deal scenario, an extension until at least October 2020 will give customers much-needed confidence in making their travel plans.”
Britons will also not need a visa if there is a no-deal Brexit. UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa.
However, these contingency arrangements may not be required should a Brexit deal be agreed.
According to ABTA: “If a deal is agreed then we will be in a transition period, meaning everything will stay the same until the end of December 2020 and flights will continue as normal.”
For those booking holidays after Brexit, ABTA’s travel advice is to book a package holiday and always take out travel insurance.
“The best way to protect your holiday is to book a package – it is then the travel provider’s responsibility to make sure your holiday is provided and to offer an alternative or refund if it cannot be delivered,” the association said.
“It is important that whenever and wherever you travel that you have adequate travel insurance which covers your specific needs, including any known medical conditions or activities you plan to do.
“It is also worth checking the detail of the policy around travel disruption including delays or cancellations as policies do vary. You can also speak to your travel insurance provider about whether they provide any specific cover for Brexit.”
Paul Williams, Group Head of Sales at insurance company Europ Assistance, has explained to Express.co.uk what is and isn’t covered by holiday travel insurance.
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