Easyjet Airbus A319-111 (c/n 2578) G-EZIW taxies at London - Gatwick (LGW/EGKK) on October 1, 2016 sporting the special "Linate-Fiumicino Per Tutti" livery.
(Photo by Michael Carter)
(Photo by Michael Carter)
UK low-cost carrier (LCC) easyJet has confirmed EasyJet Europe has launched operations after securing an air operator’s certificate (AOC) and an operating license by Austrian aviation authorities.
The first aircraft registered to easyJet Europe, OE-IVA, an Airbus A320, operated from London Luton to Vienna July 20.
EasyJet will slowly re-register the remaining 110 aircraft, which are required for its European Union (EU)-based operations into easyJet Europe over the next two winters. This process will be completed in advance of the UK leaving the EU, or Brexit. When this happens, ATW understands easyJet will become Austria’s largest carrier in terms of aircraft.
EasyJet’s network depends heavily on EU route rights. The EU AOC will safeguard the LCC’s network, should the UK and EU fail to agree on a new air transport accord before the UK exits the EU.
EasyJet Europe’s principal place of business will be in Vienna and its management will have full operational control and financial oversight of the company.
EasyJet is a pan-European airline group with three airlines based in Austria, Switzerland and the UK. All of these will be owned by easyJet, which will be EU-owned and controlled, listed on the London Stock Exchange, and based in the UK.
“Today’s announcement is the result of an extensive and thorough regulatory process in Austria and I am pleased to confirm that easyJet Europe is now flying,” CEO Carolyn McCall said in a statement.
“In addition, like all other European airlines, we continue to lobby for an EU UK aviation agreement which, as a minimum, will enable flights between the EU and the UK,” McCall said.
EasyJet country director-Germany, Austria and Switzerland Thomas Haagensen has been appointed as MD of easyJet Europe.
“As the process of re-registering easyJet’s EU27 aircraft to the Austrian AOC continues over the coming months, I look forward to working with my team and Austro Control to ensure that easyJet Europe’s operations continue to meet the highest operational and safety standards,” Haagensen said.
EasyJet Europe will create a number of new jobs in Austria, but no jobs will move from the UK to Austria. All of easyJet’s UK employees will continue to be based in London Luton and its 11 UK bases, and be employed as they are today, according to Haagensen.
EasyJet currently bases around 100 aircraft and employs around 4,000 people across six EU27 countries that will form the basis of easyJet Europe.
ATW understands the Austrian AOC is essential for easyJet as half of 75 million passengers annually come from the EU’s 27 member states.
EasyJet has operated flights from Austria for 11 years. The carrier has transported 1 million passengers from four airports in Austria to 20 European destinations so far this year.
The LCC flies over 260 aircraft on more than 870 routes to over 138 airports across 31 countries.
(Kurt Hofmann - ATWOnline News)