Impact Publications : MICEBTN_66
MICEBTN - MARCH-MAY 2017 • Page 13 Engaging Event Technology and Creative Services Our mission is to enhance your events by providing the tools to create meaningful connections. www.invisage.net your satchel in your hand branded for your event network with; social timelines attendee profiles attendee meetings instant messaging developed and supported in australia engage with beacon and geofence messaging invisage One UK carrier, easyJet, already has applied for air operating licenc- es in other EU countries to keep its intra-EU network running, but it still will need rights to fly from the UK to the EU countries where it has those licences. Its investment to shore up this ‘fall-back position’ has totalled GBP10 million so far. Airline ownership A second issue is that airlines operate under ownership rules that limit foreign shareholders to a minority stake. Under the Chicago Convention on international airline treaties, operators must be ma- jority-owned by the government or nationals of their home territo- ry, which for UK carriers (ahead of Brexit) is the EU. Post Brexit, all UK airlines will need to comb their share registers to ensure the majority of their shareholders are British and less than 50 per cent are ‘foreigners’, including from EU countries. Also, UK airlines that today fly business people to other EU coun- tries rely on suitable flight timing and landing slots. Post Brexit, EU airlines are expected to lobby their own governments to give them peak-time landing and slots priority against ‘foreign UK competitors’. Like easyJet, Ireland’s Ryanair, which has a majority of its services to and from UK airports, plans to grow its business in Europe rather than in Britain. Michael O’Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, campaigned against Brexit and has called it “the stupidest decision the Brits have ever made”. He claims “there’s a real prospect that the UK will be dumped”. Outside Europe, no one is sug- gesting that, for example, an air traffic bilaterals deal between the UK and the USA won’t be signed, but it will need to be negotiated, won’t be automatic and given US president Donald Trump’s desire to put America first, there may be more UK ‘give’ in the give and take discussions. Visa impact And no-one as yet has mentioned timeframes for replacing EU pass- ports with UK ones. There also are concerns that post-Brexit red tape will make some airline routes less viable. Passengers in Europe are known to be less likely to book holiday flights if they need visas (easyJet found tighter immigra- tion rules all-but-killed tourism from the UK to Moscow when visas were introduced there) so there is a fear that Europeans will be less likely to visit the UK - and Brits less likely to take short trips to the EU - if visas are needed. And while this article has largely focused on airline concerns, the same fears apply to trade by rail, ship and road and for UK and European holidaymakers taking their own cars across the English Channel. As the recent French port strikes proved, it doesn’t take a lot of immigration paperwork to bring the UK’s seaport access roads to a halt, with queues and tailbacks stretching many miles.