EU officials have told UK airlines such as EasyJet and British Airways that they must relocate their headquarters to Europe if they want to keep flying routes within the continent after Brexit.
They will also be required to sell off shares to European nationals, as most of their capital shares must be owned by EU citizens.
Airline representatives were warned of the rules by the EU’s Brexit taskforce when they met privately last week. The carriers’ current access to continental fly routes is contingent on legislation shared between EU members, including regulation by the European Aviation Safety Agency and oversight by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), from whose jurisdiction the UK is looking to extricate itself.
These rules could mean a loss of British jobs as UK-based airline carriers restructure to meet demands and invest abroad. It could also mean the UK retaliates with its own similarly hardline policy, which would affect airlines such as the Ireland-based Ryanair.
One way around the rules would be for UK carriers to establish their own continental subsidiaries, and vice versa if the UK insisted on similar regulations for European airlines. Easyjet is expected to announce their own continental subsidiary in the coming weeks, though the airline says its headquarters will remain in the UK.
(Source: The Guardian)