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Brexit’s consequences for business aviation

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On 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom officially left the European Union after months of negotiations. On the same date, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement linked to the Brexit came into force. In the latter, a section deals with aviation. It lays the foundations of the operational context and the rights of everyone: from passengers, to freight, to British and European air operators. This agreement is the response to the concerns of the already very fragile air transport sector.

The major changes is the evolution of the way public transport flights are operated within the UK. These flights are now subject to authorisation by the UK Civil Aviation Authority and business aviation is no exception.

What is the impact of the new air traffic conditions on private aviation?

The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union has led to some changes in flight and overflight rights between these two areas.

  • New permits needed

Overall, overflight and flight rights to and from the territory of the other party remain guaranteed for all EU and UK carriers. This applies to scheduled and non-scheduled airlines as well as to private jet and helicopter operators. It is therefore still possible to fly by private jet from the UK to another EU country with a European or UK air carrier.

However, European carriers wishing to fly to the UK must have a Foreign Carrier Permit. To obtain one, an application must be made to the UK Civil Aviation Authority. For further information, please consult the UK Civil Aviation Authority website:

In contrast, UK carriers wishing to fly into the EU must obtain flight permits from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). These procedures are not burdensome and do not hinder airlines. Some have already negotiated grouped authorisations to avoid lengthy procedures.

  • The restoration of cabotage rights

The term cabotage refers to the movement of people or goods between two airports in a country, using an aircraft registered outside the borders of that country. It is one of the six freedoms of the air, the rules that govern international air transport and air freight transport. In practical terms, cabotage is intended to protect domestic industry from foreign competition.

Au sein de l’Union Européenne, dans l’intérêt du libre-échange, les États membres partagent les mêmes droits de cabotage. Cependant, concernant le Royaume-Uni, les règles ont changées depuis le Brexit. Désormais, les exploitants d’avions de l’UE et du Royaume-Uni se soumettent à des droits de cabotage différents. Les opérateurs aériens de jet privés européens ne peuvent donc plus effectuer de vol uniquement à l’intérieur du Royaume-Uni. A l’inverse, un opérateur de britannique ne peut plus effectuer de vol uniquement à l’intérieur d’un pays européen. Cependant, si le vol passe une frontière, par exemple un vol Paris Le Bourget LBG – Amsterdam AMS, il peut être réalisé par un opérateur britannique puisqu’il n’a pas lieu dans un seul pays.

  • Effects on the price of private jet flights

It is possible that the restoration of cabotage rights will have an impact on prices. Indeed, since 1 January 2021, only British air operators can operate flights within their territory. There is therefore less competition on these flights. This decrease in competition leads to a decrease in the supply of private jets. However, if supply is lower than demand then it is likely that the price of hiring a private jet within the UK will increase. However, for other flights there is little risk of fares increasing.

  • The consequences for our customers

For AEROAFFAIRES customers, these terms and conditions have no impact. In fact, as an air broker, we are in contact with more than a hundred air operators throughout Europe. Whatever your requirements: private jet hire, helicopter hire, group flights, family flights, medical repatriation, etc., and whatever your destination, we are at your disposal to meet your needs.

Our aviation experts are available 24/7 for your private flight at +33 (0) 1 44 09 91 82. Do not hesitate to visit our online quote to obtain a price estimate for your private flight.