U.K. firm to start air­line be­fore EU break

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS & FARM -

LON­DON — Easy­Jet PLC will cre­ate a new air­line based in Vi­enna that will shield its routes within the Euro­pean Union against any fall­out from Bri­tain’s ne­go­ti­a­tions to exit the bloc.

The ap­proval process for an air op­er­a­tor cer­tifi­cate that has been filed with Aus­tria’s avi­a­tion reg­u­la­tor is “now well ad­vanced,” with clear­ance ex­pected in the near fu­ture, Lu­ton, Eng­land-based car­rier said in a state­ment Fri­day.

The new air­line, dubbed Easy­Jet Europe, will be one of three owned and op­er­ated by the com­pany, along­side its U.K. and Swiss op­er­a­tions. Easy­Jet will shift reg­is­tra­tions for 110 of its planes to the new unit, rep­re­sent­ing about 42 per­cent of its fleet.

Easy­Jet is seek­ing to safe­guard rights to fly be­tween des­ti­na­tions in EU coun­tries af­ter the Bri­tish exit from the EU takes ef­fect, in the event the U.K. fails to reach an agree­ment on re­tain­ing ac­cess for its air­lines. About 30 per­cent of Easy­Jet’s pas­sen­gers fly be­tween EU air­ports out­side of the U.K., with about half its to­tal cus­tomers orig­i­nat­ing from within the bloc, mak­ing it one of the car­ri­ers most ex­posed to pol­icy changes from Bri­tain’s EU exit.

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