While it is very tempting to second guess the possible effects of the now declared Brexit, I think our tourism planners have to be fully cognizant over the implications it may bring.
In a recent TravelMole article under the alarming headline ‘UK airlines told to move to EU (European Union) or be forced to axe services’ quoting the British Guardian newspaper, has warned that major UK based airlines will have to relocate their significant case to EU territory or ensure that majority of their shares are EU owned to enable them to continue operating routes within Europe. Some of these airlines, like EasyJet, have already started to look at ways of obtaining an EU operating certificate, including setting up separate operating companies within continental Europe.
According to an EasyJet spokesperson, the exact location from an already researched shortlist will be announced before the end of this month. What if anything does this have to do with Barbados, you may ask?
As a major Caribbean destination we already have very limited airlift out of Continental Europe, namely just Condor from Frankfurt and the new weekly service from Munich. To reach the vast population of the EU we largely rely on feeding passengers through Gatwick with Virgin and British Airways and to a lesser extent Virgin and the seasonal winter service of Thomas Cook from Manchester. Once Brexit takes place, the remaining 27 member states will have a combined population of around 433 million.
In a statement issued by Olivier Jankovec, European Secretary General of Airports Council International (ACI) he expressed concerns about ongoing uncertainty over the rules that will govern aviation between the UK and EU now that article 50 has been triggered.
He went on to emphasis ‘This implies that the aviation industry will be left in the dark for many more months to come about what will happen. Unless quickly resolved, this uncertainty will end up constraining route network development for airports, ultimately affecting air connectivity for their communities. This is due to the fact that airline route planning requires both long lead times and legal certainty’. So in the near future this could well negatively impact the ability of driving more European visitors to our shores.
The other unknown is what will happen to Scotland. Having voted overwhelmingly to remain part of the European Union, following the incredibly close call on whether to stay part of the United Kingdom in the last independence referendum, will they opt to join the EU in their own right?
This in itself could make a huge difference to destinations within the region and with this quite a possibility perhaps why we should be lobbying harder for an airline like Norwegian Airways, British Airways, Virgin and Thomas Cook to have a major Scottish hub to take full advantage of European feed?
The other area of concern is the EU261 law relating to passenger compensation for flights delayed over three hours or more. Currently all EU airlines have to pay agreed refunds subject to certain conditions. As the UK or maybe just parts on the union exit the EU, will these reasonably generous payments continue? If they do not, there will be a huge incentive for air travellers to switch their allegiance to EU and/or registered carriers.
On 30 March 2017, the UK Government stated that:
“The same rules and laws will apply on the day after exit as on the day before. It will then be for democratically elected representatives in the UK to decide on any changes to that law, after full scrutiny and proper debate.”
Barbados should be thinking long term,Spain has 300000 britons living there that will be effected by brexit, health care etc barbados should have a plan in place to welcome retirees making it easy for them to re locate as road blocks with the EU will surely arise .
Good idea. Such retirees would generate a permanent stream of foreign currency. Tourists won´t.
Good idea, but we welcome them as visitors, not permanent residents.
You should allow them to cash their pensions into barbados currency at the posted rate not the buy sell rate , encourage them to come, stay and spend
We still have some integrity….seriously.
Not sure why expat UKers in Spain with its mediterranean type climate would be interested in coming to Bim especially as it appears that Brexit will not affect them.
How do you know that?
You understand the meaning of the word….appears….???
No…where I come from a word such as ‘appears’ must be based on reason. The question of holding EU and UK citizens living in each other’s country as a bargaining chip is one of the hot potatoes. Negotiations have not started yet, so your ‘appears’ is not based on the facts as we know them.
To my mind the above points to a better than fair chance of no disruption.
Chuckle….last I checked we live in the same world…….the reason for appear is above.
Theresa May suggests EU migration will continue post-Brexit
PM indicates free movement of EU citizens to UK would carry on in transition period
BBC World carried a story of less visitors to the USA since Trump became President.Of interest in the clip one noted that hotels in Las Vegas reduced their rates by 39% and New York by a similar figure.Dare we hope that hoteliers in Barbados cut their summer rates by 50% and send Billy Bunter and Petronella de Roache of Team Barbados to sell,sell,sell.
Our favourite hotelier is in the news again.