While the precise trajectory of the UK's departure from the EU remains unclear, and the extent of its impact is difficult to ascertain, it remains possible that the UK will experience a "no-deal" exit March 29. Such a scenario could prompt short-term travel and freight disruptions, as well as shortages of certain goods. Nevertheless, the major result of a no-deal Brexit will likely be its medium-term negative impact on the UK economy, which could see a consequent rise in crime and incidents of civil unrest.
On March 10, an Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Boeing 737 MAX 8 operating Flight ET-302 from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADD) to Nairobi, Kenya (NBO) crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 people onboard. The crash is the second, high-casualty incident in six months involving a 737 MAX 8 aircraft, following the October 2018 crash of Lion Air (JT) Flight JT-610 in Indonesia, and has led numerous countries and airlines to ground 737 MAX fleets due to safety concerns.
The upcoming March 31 Ukrainian presidential election will likely lead to a higher potential for security-related disruptions during the campaign period over the coming weeks, and potentially beyond. A second round of elections could occur April 21 if no candidate has secured 50 percent of the vote in the first round. The Ukrainian electorate remains polarized over various domestic and regional issues, which could encourage frequent protests in city centers and clashes between rival groups in the separatist regions of the Donbas.
The ongoing partial US federal government shutdown will likely cause increasing disruptions to air travel in the US in the coming weeks unless the impasse is resolved. While the shutdown is currently causing few disruptions to air travel, it has the potential to cause very serious disruptions if federal employees begin to walk off the job in significant numbers.