Bentley has arranged a series of charter flights to keep its supply chain going in case of potential customs delays at ports in case Britain's negotiations with the EU result in a no-deal Brexit.

According to Automotive News Europe, the Crewe-based manufacturer has booked five Antonov cargo planes to fly car bodies into nearby Manchester should there be any delays at ports.

"We have spent two years planning. We have five Antonovs that we have on reserve to fly bodies to Manchester," Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark said at the Financial Times' Future of the Car summit.

Bentley resumes production in Crewe

At present Bentley imports 90 percent of its components, while it exports nearly a quarter of its cars (24 percent) to continental Europe.

In addition to the flights it's prepared as a 'reserve' option, Bentley has also upped its parts stockpile at its factory in the North West, having previously only kept a couple of days-worth of parts to hand.

"We used to run just-in-time with two days stock. Now we have 14 days stock. That's 14 working days, so that's three weeks of stock," Hallmark said.

Bentley Flying Spur production gets underway in Crewe

While a lot of talk surrounding the automotive industry and a potential Brexit deal has focused around tariffs and increased costs, Hallmark insists that the financial impact is not as bad as potential delays that could stop production.

"It is not existential as long as everything flows. Stopping flows is far more dangerous than Brexit tariffs," he said. 

Bentley would reportedly handle the increased costs by cutting its own operating costs while simultaneously upping prices.

Despite the complications of Brexit and COVID-19, Bentley expects to at least break even this year, helped by a 35 percent increase in sales in China, and a 15 percent rise in US sales.

"Overall we are in a position where we will do well over 10,000 sales this year," Hallmark said. "We are on the cusp of going beyond breakeven."