The European Commission is considering granting United Kingdom-based carriers more time to comply with the EU control and ownership clauses in case of a no deal Brexit on March 29, 2019, EURACTIV has reported.

A senior official said that the Brussels administration was willing to set a new deadline for compliance extending beyond the date of Brexit itself to avoid an immediate halt of all intra-EU flights by UK-based carriers.

"It may set a date by which corrective measures or actions by the competent licensing authority shall be implemented, failing which the carrier concerned shall no longer be entitled to exercise its right to operate intra-Union air services," the source said.

Under EU law, only carriers registered in and controlled by entities from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland can operate flights within the entire bloc, regardless of which country's AOC they hold. Following the exit of the United Kingdom from the bloc, British carriers will no longer automatically hold that right.

easyJet, the British airline with the largest exposure to intra-EU routes, has already taken precautionary steps by registering a subsidiary in Austria, easyJet Europe (EC, Vienna), which can take over these services.

IAG International Airlines Group is currently in talks with the European Commission regarding its future access rights and is trying to argue that its subsidiary Iberia remains a Spanish airline and should be allowed to continue services within the EU, including domestically in Spain.

Conversely, Ryanair (FR, Dublin Int'l) and Wizz Air have already set up their UK-based units as a safeguard against a potential disruption in traffic rights allocation post-Brexit.

While the UK has already struck bilateral post-Brexit air traffic agreements with a number of countries, including the US and Canada, the rules regulating UK-EU market, as well as flights by British carriers in the EU, have still not been agreed upon.