United Kingdom

European Union and the United Kingdom has concluded a Trade and Cooperation Agreement[1] containing a title concerning air transport. The agreement was signed on 24 December 2020 and applied provisionally from 1 January 2021. It entered into force on 1 May 2021.

Designation principle

There are no provisions regarding designation in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). Thus, there is no limitation as to how many carriers can perform air services to the United Kingdom.

Traffic rights

The TCA allows for third and fourth freedom rights, meaning from a point in the EU to a point in the United Kingdom vice versa.

The TCA further allows a Member State to enter into a bilateral agreement with the United Kingdom, to allow fifth freedom rights for scheduled and non-scheduled all-cargo operations. Sweden and the United Kingdom has started such negotiations.

The competent authorities of the United Kingdom and of the Member States may authorise non-scheduled air services beyond the rights otherwise provided in the TCA, provided such air services do not constitute a disguised form of scheduled services.  This implies that the Swedish Transport Agency may give permission to charter air services on a flight by flight basis.

Capacity provisions etc.

Neither Party may unilaterally limit the volume of traffic, capacity, frequency, regularity, routing, origin or destination of the air transport services operated in accordance with the TCA, nor limit the aircraft type or types operated for that purpose by the air carriers of the other Party.

An EU-carrier providing air transport services in accordance with the TCA may use an aircraft leased with crew (wet lease) from other air carriers of the EU. A British carrier may wet lease from air carriers of the Parties (that is both from another UK-carrier or from an EU-carrier). Any other wet lease is only allowed if it can be justified on the basis of exceptional needs, seasonal capacity needs operation difficulties of the lessee, provided that the leasing does not last longer than strictly necessary.

The TCA allows carriers of the Parties to enter into code-share agreements, also with carriers from third countries.

For more information follow this link 

[1] Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, on the one part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of the other part. 

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