New EasyJet airline created for Brexit
14 July 2017 National News
Budget airline easyJet is creating a new airline so it can continue flying in the European Union after Brexit.
It has applied for a new air operator certificate in Austria at a cost of £10m.
The company said the application process was “well advanced” and that it hoped to receive the accreditation “in the near future”.
It will allow the low-cost carrier to establish easyJetEurope, which will have its headquarters in the Austrian capital Vienna.
This is planning for a worst case scenario should Britain fail to negotiate the same aviation freedoms it currently enjoys as a member of the EU.
The company said the move would enable the airline to operate flights both across Europe and domestically within Europe once Britain exits the EU – “regardless of the outcome of talks on a future UK-EU aviation agreement”.
It currently has airlines based in the UK and Switzerland.
The establishment of easyJetEurope will create new jobs in Austria, but the airline asserted “no jobs will move from the UK to Austria”.
“All of easyJet’s UK employees will continue to be based in Luton and our 11 UK bases and employed as they are today,” the firm said.
“While the new structure will protect all of easyJet’s current flying rights within Europe, easyJet will continue to push for the UK and EU to reach an aviation agreement which, at a minimum, will enable flights between the UK and EU.”
UK ministers have said maintaining “liberal access” to European aviation markets will be a “top priority” during the Brexit negotiations which got under way in June.