easyJet plans Austria base as insurance against Brexit

easyJet plans Austria base as insurance against Brexit

Low-cost carrier easyJet is planning to establish a new company in Austria as it seeks to protect its business from the impact of Brexit.

As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, the Luton-based carrier said it would establish a new airline, EasyJet Europe, based in Vienna.

The airline must have an air operator certificate in an EU member country to allow it to continue flying between member states after Brexit.

In a statement earlier, easyJet said its application was “well advanced”.

A spokeswoman said “nothing will change” from the perspective of passengers.

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easyJet added all the staff and planes that would fly for EasyJet Europe were already employed and based in the other 27 EU countries.

The company said no jobs would be lost in the UK, but some would be created in Austria.

easyJet currently has an airline based in Switzerland, as well as its UK operation.

The parent company - easyJet PLC - will retain its London Stock Exchange listing and its Luton headquarters.

The Austria base is necessary as Britain risks losing access to “open skies” arrangements between EU members.

Under the deal, which has been in place since 1994, any EU airline has been free to fly between any two points in Europe.