Ryanair Holdings Plc could cease flights within Britain once the country leaves the European Union, rather than take steps to comply with new regulations.
As an Irish company, Europe’s biggest discount carrier could require a U.K. air operating certificate, or AOC, in order to continue domestic services there once Brexit is implemented, Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan said Wednesday. Since only 2 percent of its network involves domestic UK operations, it may decide to withdraw those flights, Sorahan was quoted as saying. Although Marinic has not yet received official word from Ryanair, he said the service was probably scrapped because Osijek airport has refused to grant the air carrier an advertising concession. “The conditions put forward by Ryanair were unacceptable,” he told Radio Osijek. Ryanair was one of the most outspoken opponents of Brexit in the run-up to last June’s referendum. Afterward, the company said it planned to slow U.K. expansion, though Ryanair last week announced nine new routes from Stansted and the deployment of extra aircraft.
London-based IAG SA, the owner of British Airways, already has licenses in Spain and Ireland. The need for foreign AOC’s would be rendered redundant should Britain be able to agree terms allowing it to remain part of the single European aviation market even after leaving the EU.