‘Urgent action’ needed to avoid Brexit airline disaster.
IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.
If the UK fails to establish traffic rights for airlines before it leaves the European Union (EU), it would be “a disaster,” the head of IATA said Tuesday.
While IATA and the aviation industry is hopeful that government negotiators will reach an agreement in time to avoid airline service disruption, news this week that broader Brexit talks were stalled is causing concern.
IATA, which is not involved in the Brexit negotiations, is urging that airline traffic rights are established as soon as possible, by October 2018 at latest. The UK is scheduled to leave the EU in March 2019 and airlines set their schedules and sell tickets at least six months ahead of operation.
As part of the EU, the UK currently benefits from liberalized traffic rights within Europe and also from the EU-US Open Skies agreement.
If the UK exits the EU without securing new traffic rights, it would have to revert to the pre-liberalized air bilateral system, including for flights to Ireland, which is an EU country.
“The worst case would be that connectivity is not maintained between the UK and EU due to the disappearance of traffic rights. Traffic rights are a key issue,” IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said at a media briefing in Geneva Dec. 5.
“It would be a disaster for UK-based carriers because they would not be allowed to land in Europe. I don’t think it will happen, but it is a risk.”
De Juniac said “urgent action” was needed to negotiate the provision of connectivity post-Brexit. “As a general rule, the business of freedom is at its best in creating value for the world in a liberalized framework. That’s a message that I intend to push quite strongly in the year ahead,” he said.
The EU’s Open Skies framework is credited with stimulating Europe’s air traffic growth, especially in the LCC sector.
IATA regional VP, Europe, Rafael Schvartzman ,said resolving the UK’s post-Brexit aviation situation would be “difficult, but feasible”.
“We hope a solution is found for the UK air service arrangements post March 2019, enabling air traffic between the UK and EU to continue,” Schvartzman said. European passengers would be “the biggest losers” if that fails to happen, he warned… (By Karen Walker).
Bride with Breast Cancer Dies Just 18 Hours After Hospital Wedding.
Heather Lindsay and her boyfriend, David Mosher, were happy and in love in 2016. The couple had met at a swing dancing class in May of 2015, and David had plans to propose on December 23rd, 2016, when the couple got some horrific news.
On the morning of the day the proposal was supposed to take place, Heather was diagnosed with aggressive triple-negative breast cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes. But that didn’t scare David off. He knew he still wanted to be with Heather, through thick and thin.
“I left the plans as they were. I proposed to her,” David said. “We had the toughest year of our life. She struggled with her cancer through the traditional chemotherapy.”
Thinking the cancer was under control, Heather and David made plans to get married on December 30th, 2017. But in September of 2017, they received the terrible news that the cancer had spread to Heather’s lungs and brain and would be terminal.
As the days wore on and Heather’s condition worsened, the couple began to realize that she may not live to see their wedding day. So they moved it up to December 22nd and had a beautiful wedding ceremony in St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, where Heather was receiving palliative care.
Hospital staff wheeled Heather’s hospital bed down to the chapel, where the couple were wed, Heather hooked up to various tubes and wires but nonetheless wearing her lovely wedding gown and smiling up a storm.
Heather’s last words were her vows, which were incredibly difficult for her to say as she struggled to breathe. Following the wedding, she raised her arms in one last gesture of triumph; she had managed to marry the love of her life before cancer could take her.
Bridesmaid Christina Lee caught the whole heartwarming and tearful event on camera. Initially reluctant to pull out her camera, she soon realized how important it would be to capture those moments.
“I am in awe of the strength Dave’s love inspired in Heather even in her last hours. She was his great love, and he was hers,” said Christina. “What you clearly see here is two people who were destined to be joined as one. A love like no other captured for all to see. My gift to her.”
Just 18 short hours after the couple said their vows, Heather passed away at the age of 31. Even in their grief, her friends and family continue to draw courage from her story of courage and strength.
“She was able to fight till the end,” says David. “I’m going to fight till my end.” (By Elizabeth Nelson).