IAG, the group that owns British Airways, has sought the support of Spain’s government in order to negotiate contingency flight plans between Britain and Spain should complications arise after Brexit.
Spanish media report that officials in Spain feel it is unlikely that IAG will be able to continue their services in compliance to EU regulations while being based in the UK.
Talks reportedly started between IAG and Madrid last month in an attempt to ensure normal services to and from Spain in the immediate aftermath of Brexit.
There are fears that once UK shareholders are lost after March 29, IAG could fail to meet the 51% threshold required for EU ownership and regulation.
Other IAG owned airlines like Iberia, Vueling, Aer Lingus, and their latest venture, Level, could all find themselves in facing problems with flights to and from the British Isles.
IAG’s current headquarters are based in Britain, nearby to Heathrow airport and the company have stated they have no plans to relocate in order to prove they are an EU regulated company.
Willie Walsh, chief executive at IAG, is confident the airline will weather the storm and avoid complications post Brexit, claiming that during the 2011 merger between British Airways and Iberia operational plans were laid out beyond the EU.
IAG remain confident it will continue to comply with the relevant controls and regulations but are said to be continuing extensive engagements, such as the talks in Madrid, to be certain the airline will operate in Europe in the immediate aftermath of Brexit.
Competitors, however, are more skeptical of IAG’s stance with Ryanair’s Michael O’leary claiming the IAG will not survive post-Brexit in its current form.
easyJet too have taken a separate stance, creating easyJet Europe as a separate airline in order to manage the uncertainties of aviation in Europe post-Brexit.