Leading industry organisations and businesses have given their reaction to yesterday’s EU decision.
British Airways parent company IAG has warned it no longer expects to match last year’s profit increase due to yesterday’s vote to leave the EU.
In a statement the company, which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Vueling, said in doesn’t expect the decision to have a large impact long-term but short-term it will hit profits.
“International Airlines Group - the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia which was created by the merger of the two carriers in 2010 believes that the vote to leave the European Union will not have a long term material impact on its business. In the short term, however, in the run up to the UK referendum during June, International Airlines Group - the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia which was created by the merger of the two carriers in 2010 experienced a weaker than expected trading environment.
“Following the outcome of the referendum, and given current market volatility, while International Airlines Group - the parent company of British Airways and Spain's Iberia which was created by the merger of the two carriers in 2010 continues to expect a significant increase in operating profit this year, it no longer expects to generate an absolute operating profit increase similar to 2015.”
Amex global business travel (GBT) UK general manager Jason Geall said: “The EU, the UK and our sector are now facing a period of uncertainty. There will be a prolonged period of negotiating the UK’s exit from the EU, during which time we expect conditions for travellers to remain the same. It is now incumbent upon travel management companies to help customers navigate through this period of uncertainty and to simplify any complexity that arises from the separation.”
Easyjet said it’s confident the result will not have a material impact on its long term growth plans and returns to shareholders.
It said it has prepared for this eventuality and has been working on a number of options that will allow it to continue “flying in all of its markets”.
CEO Carolyn McCall said: “We remain confident in the strength of Easyjet’s business model and our ability to continue to deliver our successful strategy and our leading returns.
“We have today written to the UK Government and the European Commission to ask them to prioritise the UK remaining part of the single EU aviation market, given its importance to trade and consumers.”
Bmi regional CEO Peter Simpson said the vote has created “a lot of uncertainty” about the future of the UK, the EU and Europe as a whole and its base as a UK airline “may have to be reviewed”.
“For a business such as Bmi regional, being heavily influenced by the freedom of trade and traffic, this uncertainty will undoubtedly add a layer of complexity to our business.
Bmi regional will keenly monitor developments over the coming weeks and months to assess the challenges and opportunities they will create for the business. It is, however, safe to say, that our continued business domicile as a UK entity is less than clear at this point in time.
Any decision regarding a move to another domicile will not be taken lightly and will be carefully considered. Ultimately, the best interests of our customers, employees and shareholders will guide that decision.”
Travel trade organisations ABTA and ITM both said we are now “undoubtedly” moving into a period of uncertainty.
Association of British Travel Agents said: “Once the UK formally notifies the EU of its intention to leave, the remaining Member States will have up to two years to offer the UK a deal for a future trading relationship. This period can also be extended if all parties agree.
“We started this process some months ago, with a programme of engagement with ‘leave’ campaigners in Westminster, and we have prepared a detailed list of policy and regulatory priorities that we will be discussing with leading policymakers in the coming weeks.”
ITM CEO Simone Buckley said: “The UK travel management community now faces a period of uncertainty. ITM and its members will now be focused on the potential ramifications of Brexit to the managed travel sector and we will be prepared to advise and facilitate the education of the implications to the industry.”