By Carmen Bos

After the election of 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. From this point on, the UK and the European Union started their negotiations. These took longer than expected and after years of complex and bitter negotiations, the United Kingdom officially left the European Union on January 31st, 2020. It consequentially applied a new deal on the 1st of January 2021, called the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. But what implies the deal they finally agreed on and how will this impact the travelers from and to the United Kingdom? Fly Aeolus explains everything you need to know about Brexit and the travel industry. 

A closer look into the Trade and Cooperation Agreement

After the leave of the UK from the EU on the 31st of January, a transition period started between the two markets during which EU rights and obligations still applied to the UK. On the 24th of December 2020, the EU and UK agreed on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The deal which they agreed and implemented on the 1st of January 2021 has changed a lot about Brexit and travel industry. Let’s take a look at the following topics of the agreement which have an impact on travelers to and from the UK.


On that date, the UK left the EU Single Market and Customs Union, as well as all EU policies and international agreements. It put an end to the free movement of persons, goods, services, and capital with the EU. This means that UK citizens are allowed to visit the EU on a short-term basis as tourists. But outside touristic visits, UK citizens have no longer the freedom to work, study, start a business or live in the EU. Equally, they will need visas for long-term stays. 

Border checks will apply, passports will need to be stamped and EU pet passports will no longer be valid for UK residents. 


UK airlines are no longer considered as EU carriers. The result of this is that the UK loses existing traffic rights in the EU. Airlines will need to seek permission to fly to an EU country and vice versa. If these permissions are not granted on time, it could result in several delays in departures and arrivals of flights. 

What does that mean for travelers between the EU and the UK?

EU and UK citizens are, when the corona restrictions are lifted, still allowed to travel visa-free through the 2 separate markets as a tourist.

UK travelers to the EU need a valid passport, which will not expire within 6 months, and visas are required for stays over 90 days in a 180-day period. Moreover, the EU pet passport is no longer valid in the EU. Read more about this is in our blog about relaxing pet travel by private jet or air taxi.

EU travelers to the UK also need a valid passport. A visa is only required when they planned to stay and/or work longer than 6 months in the UK. 

What does that mean for business aviation?

All business aviation operators organizing operations between the EU and the UK must live up to the EU and UK certifications requirements since the first of January 2021.

Borders formalities are also mandatory during an operation such as border checks on persons –entailing the verification of entry and stay requirements, stamping of passports, and visa requirements. This will automatically affect the business’s aviation passengers and crew.

Take a private jet with Fly Aeolus

After reading everything about Brexit and the travel industry, book an air taxi to travel from and to the UK with Fly Aeolus, read our blog about the 5 reasons to fly with us

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