EasyJet to set up new company in Austria to prepare for Brexit
British airline easyJet said Friday it had applied for a new air operator's certificate in Austria to allow it to continue flying in the European Union after Brexit regardless of the outcome of negotiations.
The application "will allow EasyJet to establish a new airline, EasyJet Europe, which will be headquartered in Vienna and will enable EasyJet to continue to operate flights both across Europe and domestically within
European countries after the UK has left the EU," the no-frills airline said in a statement.
EasyJet said the switch would create jobs in Austria, while no positions would be lost in the UK.
"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," the statement added.
Soon after Britain voted in a referendum a year ago in favour of exiting the EU, EasyJet applied for a European Union licence to keep flying throughout the bloc.
Britain's airline industry has soared over the last two decades under the Single European Sky system, which lifted trade restrictions on EU airlines.
Unless British negotiators manage to secure preferential conditions, British airlines could lose this status once the country leaves the EU.
This will mean they no longer enjoy rights including being able to freely set airfares, and to launch any route in Europe without getting prior authorisation.
Passengers leaving or arriving in the United Kingdom will face new taxes and British airlines face obstacles and delays in developing new routes.