BRITISH AIRWAYS may up its roots in Britain and move its operations to Spain should the UK leave the European Union without securing a deal according to the Spanish Media.
In the event of a no deal Brexit, it is claimed the International Airline Group (IAG) will fail to meet EU ownership standards, due to having too many British shareholders, and will be unable to operate.
As a result, IAG, the group which owns the airline, has reportedly entered talks with the Spanish Government to make preliminary plans for the move.
According to the European Union’s ‘Open Skies Agreement’, 50% of an airline’s shareholders must be EU residents in order for the airline to operate.
Once Britain leaves the European Union, IAG is expected to fall below these requirements and fail to make the threshold.
Experts have recommended that the group breaks itself up or buys out British shareholders in order to maintain its status and operation rights.
IAG is based in London but is registered in Madrid.
The group also owns Spain’s Iberia and Ireland’s Aer Lingus.
British Politician and Labour deputy leader Tom Watson tweeted ‘Spanish Airways’ as the news broke in the UK.
Labour MP Mary Creagh added: ‘British Airways, the UK’s national flag carrier bails out of Brexit Britain.’
IAG are yet to officially comment on the speculation. However, the group has gone on record to say: ‘Even if there is no Brexit deal, both the EU and UK have said they will put an agreement in place that allows flights to continue.’