The government released its third series of technical documents this week focusing on the consequences of no deal being struck between the UK and EU – including upon air and coach travel – by March 29, 2019.
The guidance on coach travel warns that travel between the UK and EU could be disrupted by Brexit, with UK coach operators advised to consider sub-contracting the continental parts of their journeys to EU-based firms.
But Ian Henry, chief executive of Leger Holidays, said this did not apply to coach holidays, despite what may be deduced from consumer media reports this week.
“The regulations [these reports] refer to relate to scheduled, point-to-point coach services rather than ‘closed door’ coach holidays,” he told TTG. “We do not consider there is any risk from Brexit to our ability to continue to provide coach holidays from the UK to Europe. This applies whether there is a deal or no-deal, as there is no suggestion that travel will be banned under a no-deal scenario.”
Richard Calvert, chief executive of Shearings Holidays’ owner Specialist Leisure Group, added: “While Shearings Holidays cannot guarantee or predict the effect of a no-deal Brexit, we can guarantee that we will operate our holidays in full compliance with both national and international law post-Brexit. We will do everything possible to minimise any disruption to our customers.”
The Department for Transport (DFT) said the UK planned to rejoin the Interbus Agreement, which allows occasional coach travel, as an independent member by March 29 or “as soon as possible thereafter”.
“The agreement will provide access for occasional services in the EU by UK operators, so coach holidays and tours would be able to continue,” added the DFT in its guidance notes.
The government has also admitted there could be “disruption to some flights” should the EU not grant UK carriers permission to operate following a no-deal Brexit.
This would mean UK and EU-licensed airlines losing their automatic right to operate flights between the UK and EU countries without seeking advance permission.
In this situation, the DFT said it “would envisage granting permission to EU airlines to continue to operate” and as a result, “would expect EU countries to reciprocate”.
Elsewhere, the CAA has developed a microsite following the government’s issuing of technical documents.
It is intended to be a “central source of information for the aviation and aerospace industries about the actions they would need to take to be prepared for a no-deal withdrawal from the EU and no continued mutual recognition”.