U.K. firm to start airline before EU break
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.