The European Commission recently extended the deadline on its unilateral contingency legislation Regulation 2019/502 on basic air connectivity between the UK and the European Union (EU) until Oct. 24, 2020, in anticipation of the potential exit of Britain from the EU on Oct. 31, 2019.


"With 8 weeks to go until the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union on 31 October 2019, the Commission has today – in its 6th Brexit preparedness Communication – reiterated its call on all stakeholders in the EU27 to prepare for a ‘no-deal' scenario," the Commission said in a statement carried by the Centre for Aviation (CAPA).


It added that the warning is "in light of the continued uncertainty in the UK regarding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement" – despite an agreement with the UK government last year. 


"A no-deal' scenario on 1 November 2019, remains possible, although undesirable, outcome," the European Commission said, noting that it published a detailed guideline to help those businesses that trade with the UK to make final preparations "in order to minimize disruption to trade."


In the area of aviation, the Commission said it proposed to the European Parliament and the Council "to make targeted technical adjustments to the duration of the EU's ‘no-deal' contingency measures" including basic air connectivity between the UK and the European Union.


"The Commission has proposed to extend this Regulation until 24 October 2020, reflecting the logic and duration of the original Regulation," it said.


The EU's Regulation on common rules ensuring basic air connectivity provides the basis for EU countries to give UK airlines permission to operate if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal.


The rights the Regulation provide to the UK airlines are conditional on the UK also granting equivalent rights to airlines from EU countries.