easyJet (LON:EZJ) will establish a new Vienna-based airline, the blue-chip group has said. The move is part of the budget carrier’s plan to continue flying intra-European routes after the UK leaves the European Union.
easyJet’s share price has been little changed in London in today’s session, having inched 0.07 percent higher to 1,410.00p as of 10:12 BST, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having fallen into the red and currently standing 0.26 percent lower at 7,394.11 points. The group’s shares have added more than a fifth to their value over the past year, and are up by some 40 percent in the year-to-date.
easyJet announced in a statement this morning that it had applied to Austro Control for an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and to Austria’s Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology for an airline operating licence. The AOC and the licence, which the company hopes to receive in the near future, will enable the UK-based budget carrier to establish a new airline, easyJet Europe, which will be headquartered in Vienna. The FTSE 100 group explained that it had chosen Austria because of Austro Control’s “rigorous approach to safety regulation”.
The move 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 the talks between Britain and the bloc. The company, however, noted that it will nevertheless “continue to push for the UK and EU to reach an aviation agreement which, at a minimum, will enable flights between the UK and EU”.
easyJet is scheduled to update investors on its third-quarter performance on July 20.