The UK government has outlined contingency measures which will enable flights between the UK and EU will continue to operate even in the event of a no deal Brexit.

The Department for Transport said the EU was “about to finalise its no deal aviation regulation that will protect UK airlines flying into Europe”, and has published a policy statement setting out how the UK will provide permissions for EU airlines to operate to and from the UK.

It said the UK will reciprocate on three key principles – providing certainty and reassurance to businesses and consumers, minimising the potential for disruption in any Brexit scenario and maintaining a “level playing field for UK industry, ahead of future negotiations”.

Commenting on the news Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said:

“Measures put forward by the UK and the EU will ensure that flights can continue in any scenario; deal or no deal.

“This is good news, not only for the industry but most importantly it reaffirms the fact that passengers can book flights with confidence, as normal.

“We expect these contingency measures will never be needed and our efforts remain focused on securing a deal from the EU.”

The DfT said that around 164 million passengers travel between the UK and the EU each year, adding that the latest announcement “gives industry certainty and the public the assurance needed to book and fly with absolute confidence”.

The news has been welcomed by the aviation industry, including the Airport Operators Association. Karen Dee, CEO of the association said:

“The measures put forward by the UK and the EU will ensure that flights between the UK and the EU will be able to continue in a no-deal scenario without restrictions on capacity, as well as UK domestic routes currently operated by EU airlines.

“This means that travellers planning their 2019 holidays, family visits and business trips can rest assured that there will be no disruption to their flights, whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

“This comes on top of the important steps the UK Government has taken in concluding UK bilateral agreements with non-EU countries like the US and Canada where we currently fly to under an EU-level agreement.

“While an orderly transition period remains airports’ top priority, today’s announcement alongside the EU’s no-deal contingency regulations, should reassure passengers that the UK’s essential air connectivity will continue to operate.”