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BUMPY SKIES

What air travel between the UK and Europe looked like pre-Brexit

David Yanofsky
By David Yanofsky

Editor of code, visuals, and data

The UK today is the most popular air transit point in the European Union for EU travelers. About 138 million air passengers flew between the UK and EU in 2015 according to Eurostat. (Its relatively popularity as an airline destination is linked partly to the fact that it’s an island with limited alternatives for reaching the Continent.)

It’s unclear how Brexit might change that since the terms of a UK withdrawal from the EU aren’t yet known. But there are serious reasons to believe that the flow of air travelers will shift.

Here are how things looked last year:

On one hand, the UK has always administered its own border controls (as it did not agree to the so-called Schengen Agreement.) So tourism and other short-term travel is unlikely to change dramatically as a result of new border restrictions.

But Brexit may reduce the amount of business travel between the UK and EU. That’s because investment opportunities in the UK become less attractive, given the economic and political turmoil, and UK companies could face increased barriers to doing business with Europe.

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