EasyJet picks Austrian base for post-Brexit plan

easyJet planeImage copyright
AFP

UK airline EasyJet is planning to set up a new company in Austria to protect its European business after Britain leaves the EU.

The new airline, EasyJet Europe, will be based in Vienna.

The airline must have an air operator certificate in an EU member country to allow it to continue flying between member states after Brexit.

EasyJet said its application was “well advanced” and it hoped to receive its licence in the “near future”.

Open skies

EasyJet announced last year that it was in the process of establishing a separate presence on the European mainland, in readiness for when the UK leaves the EU.

This is because the UK risks losing access to Europe’s internal “open skies” arrangement.

Since 1994, any EU airline has been free to fly between any two points in Europe, something that enabled companies such as EasyJet and Ryanair to grow to their present size.

Current EU flying rights might have to be renegotiated and the new company would ensure EasyJet could operate within the EU, rather than having to fly in and out of the UK on every route.

It said setting up a new European entity would cost it £10m

EasyJet, which is a member of the FTSE 100 share index of the largest UK-listed companies, is planning to keep its London listing and Luton headquarters.

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