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According to Michael O'Leary, an airline has to be majority owned by EU citizens to qualify for access under Blue Skies.  As a significant part of the Ryanair shareholder base is UK based, Ryanair will fall below 50% EU ownership when Brexit happens.  He is busy preparing plans to buy back British owned Ryanair shares to ensure Ryanair remains 50% EU owned.  

On that logic IAG would have to divest itself of its Aer Lingus ownership (only recently acquired) if Aer Lingus is to be able to continue to fly it's Ireland UK routes. IAG CEO, David Walsh (also Irish and ex Aer Lingus) has said that with "policy support", it should be a simple enough to extend "Open Skies" to the UK post Brexit.  That may well be the case, and should be an early and easily agreed part of any Brexit deal.

But if there is no Brexit deal?  Why would the EU allow the UK cherry pick the things it wants whilst reneging on other obligations? O'Leary is worried it would suit Lufthansa et al just fine to have UK/EU routes shut down for a few months causing greater damage to Ryanair by comparison.  It all depends on whether some adults enter the room...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 24th, 2017 at 07:05:51 PM EST
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