EasyJet has unveiled plans to launch a new airline to continue to operate flights both across Europe and domestically within European countries after the UK has left the European Union.
The budget airline said the new company will be called easyJet Europe and will be based in Vienna, while the people and planes that will fly for new carrier are already employed and based in EU27 countries.
Earlier this year, the Luton-based carrier held talks with EU member states to move its legal HQ to the continent, highlighting the impact leaving the bloc would have on a number of British businesses with great exposure to Europe.
On Friday (14 July), easyJet confirmed 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 company indicated the accreditation process was "well advanced", adding it hoped to receive the AOC, which is a requirement for airline flying within EU member states, and licence in the near future.
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 which itself will be EU owned and controlled, listed on the London Stock Exchange and based in the UK.
The model would be along the lines of that already in use by British Airways' owner, International Consolidated Airline Group.
While the new structure will protect all of easyJet's current flying rights within Europe, the airline said it will continue to push for Britain and the EU to reach an aviation agreement which, at a minimum, will enable flights between the two.
The carrier said that while the establishment of easyJet Europe will create a number of new jobs in Austria, no jobs will move from the UK to Austria.
"All of easyJet's UK employees will continue to be based in Luton and our 11 UK bases and employed as they are today," the airline said.