EasyJet to set up Austria base to run EU flights after Brexit

Move to Vienna will shield its routes within the EU from any fallout Brexit negotiations

The new carrier, dubbed EasyJet Europe, will form one of three airlines owned and operated by the company alongside UK and Swiss operations. EasyJet will re-register 110 planes with the new unit.

The new carrier, dubbed EasyJet Europe, will form one of three airlines owned and operated by the company alongside UK and Swiss operations. EasyJet will re-register 110 planes with the new unit.

 

EasyJet will create a new airline based in Vienna that will shield its routes within the European Union from any fallout from Brexit.

The approval process for an air operator certificate that EasyJet filed with Austria’s aviation regulator is “now well advanced,” and the Luton, England-based company expects clearance in the near future, the carrier said on Friday.

The new carrier, dubbed EasyJet Europe, will form one of three airlines owned and operated by the company alongside UK and Swiss operations. EasyJet will re-register 110 planes with the new unit.

EasyJet is seeking to protect its rights to fly between destinations in EU countries after Brexit takes effect, in the event the UK fails to reach an agreement on retaining access to those routes for its airlines.

EU passengers

About half of EasyJet’s passengers originate from airports elsewhere in the EU, and about 30 per cent fly on routes linking airports of the EU’s other 27 countries, making it one of the carriers most exposed to policy changes from Brexit.

The airline is still pushing for authorities to reach a deal allowing UK and mainland-Europe airlines to operate freely across the tighter border.

The EasyJet parent will meet the EU’s ownership restrictions on airlines because it will be majority-owned by EU nationals, it said. Investors from the other 27 EU countries currently own “close to half” of EasyJet’s stock, including the 33 per cent held by founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou and his family, who are citizens of Cyprus.

- (Bloomberg)

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