Ryanair is preparing for a "hard Brexit" by applying for a UK licence

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Ryanair has applied for a UK licence to protect its operations in the event of a "hard Brexit".

The budget airline has applied for a UK Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) which may be necessary to continue its UK domestic flights if no Brexit deal is agreed.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary has previously said voters were "lied to" during the referendum campaign and has taken part in talks over the future of airlines after Brexit.

If the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) accepts the application, this would enable Ryanar to continue running three domestic UK flights in the event of a no-deal situation.

When contacted by City A.M., a Ryanair spokesperson said: "Ryanair today confirmed that a subsidiary company Ryanair UK filed an application on 21 December last for an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) with the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK. This may be required for Ryanair’s three UK domestic routes in the event of a hard Brexit in March 2019."

Concerns have been repeatedly raised in the airline industry over the possible negative impacts of Brexit, with Philip Hammond even warning that a no-deal could ground UK-EU flights.

Nevertheless, the industry as a whole is on course for a record profit this year, as an estimated 4.3bn travellers make air journeys.

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