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Aviation Industry Braces for Brexit With CEOs Divided on Fallout

  • EU industry CEOs split over impact of U.K. departure from bloc
  • Ryanair’s O’Leary is top Cassandra, IAG’s Walsh is ‘relaxed’
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Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
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At an aviation summit in Brussels this past week, Europe’s main airlines put on a display of unity over the challenges ahead. But the industry’s chief executive officers were divided when it came to the biggest issue of all: Brexit.

The U.K.’s scheduled departure from the European Union in March 2019 has provoked widely varying reactions from carriers in the 28-nation bloc. At one extreme are dire flight-cancellation warnings by Ryanair Holdings Plc CEO Michael O’Leary and at the other is nonchalance by his counterpart at British Airways owner IAG SA, fellow Irishman Willie Walsh.