Airports boss warns of looming no-deal Brexit threat to air travel

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The chief executive of the group which runs Glasgow and Aberdeen airports has effectively backed claims by a leading Scots tourism expert that a no-deal Brexit could wreck ex-UK air travel.

In a newspaper interview Derek Provan, boss of AGS Airports, said a “worst case scenario” could see planes grounded across the country.

This is because most flights are routed through the EU, and without a deal on air space protocol it would be impossible for flights to take off.

Dozens of agreements currently allow airlines to enter EU countries’ airspace, but these will be rendered void at the end of March next year if the UK Government fails to secure a Brexit agreement.

Earlier this month, airing similar concerns, Professor John Lennon, director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism at Glasgow Caledonian University, predicted holidaymakers will face less choice, higher prices and steeper insurance costs once the UK quits the EU.

He says flights could face significant disruption as UK negotiators face the “colossal” task of securing new air access agreements to destinations worldwide.

Meanwhile people travelling abroad will need cover for flight delays and medical repatriation costs, while industry insiders believe cut price offers could disappear.

He said: “As the UK leaves the EU, the potential for far worse access agreements could seriously damage the flying rights of UK airlines.

“There are more than 60 air access agreements to be renegotiated.”

“There’s visa uncertainty about entry into Europe post-March 2019, and UK travellers will no longer benefit from the EU led abolition of data roaming charges”.

The Moffat Centre has undertaken projects in more than 40 countries and is also responsible for compiling the Scottish accommodation occupancy and visitor attraction performance statistics.

Its data is used by the Scottish Government, local authorities and public bodies to calculate tourism value and performance.