EasyJet is establishing a new carrier, easyJet Europe, headquartered in Vienna, Austria to eliminate the risk of disruption after the UK leaves the European Union.
Amidst continuing uncertainty over the conditions surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU and the nature of a future UK-EU aviation agreement, easyJet is pushing ahead with plans to set up easyJet Europe.
Earlier this year, the airline applied to Austro Control for an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and to Austria's Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) for an airline operating licence.
The accreditation process is now well advanced and easyJet hopes to receive the AOC and licence in the near future.
These will allow the UK carrier 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, regardless of the outcome of talks on a future UK-EU aviation agreement.
The new structure means that easyJet would become a pan European airline group with three airlines based in Austria, Switzerland and the UK. All of these will be owned by easyJet plc which itself will be EU-owned and -controlled, listed on the London Stock Exchange and based in the UK.
The company underlines that the people and planes that will fly for easyJet Europe are already employed and based in EU27 countries. EasyJet currently bases around 100 aircraft and employs around 4,000 people across six EU27 countries who will form the basis of easyJet Europe, and does so on local contracts in their based countries and in full compliance with local and EU rules and regulations.
No jobs will move from the UK to Austria. All of easyJet’s UK employees will continue to be based in Luton and the company’s 11 UK bases and employed as they are today.
Around half of easyJet passengers come from the EU 27 and around 30% of passengers are flying on routes between and within the EU 27.