On 14 July 2017, the airline EasyJet announced its application to Austro Control, the air navigation services provider that controls Austrian airspace, for an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and to Austria’s Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) for an airline operating licence.
In this way, EasyJet will be able to establish a new airline, EasyJet Europe, headquartered in Vienna, so that it can continue to operate flights both across Europe and domestically within European countries after the UK has left the EU.
Under EU law, an airline of any EU Member State has the freedom to fly any route within the EU. Since it is a UK-based airline, EasyJet has the right to operate flights without restrictions across the EU, but will lose this right when the UK will leave the single aviation market.
EasyJet already has a Swiss operating licence and AOC. 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 accreditation process is now well advanced and EasyJet hopes to receive the AOC and licence in the near future.