Luton-based low-cost carrier easyJet has started the formal process of acquiring an air operator certificate (AOC) in another European country after the UK voted to leave the EU.
The airline currently operates on a UK AOC which enables it to operate across Europe but after the referendum result and the uncertainty surrounding how it would affect the European Open Skies agreement, the airline has begun putting its contingency plan into action.
“easyJet is lobbying the UK government and the EU to ensure the continuation of a fully liberal and deregulated aviation market within the UK and Europe,” a statement on its website read. “This would mean that easyJet and all European airlines can continue to operate as they do today and this objective has been supported by European airlines, with Airlines For Europe, Europe’s main airline association.
“As part of easyJet’s contingency planning before the referendum we had informal discussions with a number of European aviation regulators about the establishment of an AOC (air operator certificate) in a European country to enable easyJet to fly across Europe as we do today.
“easyJet has now started a formal process to acquire an AOC.”
The airline said that until the outcome of the UK/EU negotiations are known, it will not need to make any structural or operational changes. It also reaffirmed its commitment to Luton where it has been based for 20 years.