The aviation regulator has granted budget airline Ryanair with a UK air operator certificate that will allow it to operate flights within the UK and to non-EU routes in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Irish airline said the risk of a no-deal Brexit was rising and repeated its call for the UK and EU to agree a transition from 31 March – when Britain is formally set to leave – to avoid any summer holiday disruption.
Ryanair’s Juliusz Komorek said: “We welcome the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to grant our UK based airline, Ryanair UK, with a UK AOC, allowing Ryanair to operate UK domestic routes and UK to non-EU routes in a post-Brexit environment.
"The risk of a ‘no deal’ Brexit in March is rising, and despite our robust post-Brexit structures, including our post-Brexit plan around European ownership, we continue to call for the UK and EU to agree a transition deal from 31 March 2019, so that any disruption to flights and British consumer summer holidays in 2019 can be avoided.”
Ryanair applied for the AOC late in 2017 to allow it to continue operating its three domestic routes in the UK in the event of a hard Brexit.
Passenger numbers at Ryanair increased by 12 per cent from 9.3m in 2017 to 10.3m last month, the airline said today.
The figure includes the 300,000 passengers that travelled on Niki Lauda's Laudamotion, which Ryanair acquired last year.
However, passenger numbers for the 12 months through December rose eight per cent in 2018, two per cent down on the 10 per cent growth in 2017.