Wizz Air, a no-frills Hungarian airline which has flights from Scotland, has set up an “ultra-low cost” carrier in the UK to ensure it can continue operating in Britain after Brexit.
Based in Luton and consisting of a fleet of eight new aircraft, Wizz Air UK will create 300 new management, pilot and cabin crew jobs. The airline has flight routes departing from Aberdeen and Glasgow.
The UK subsidiary is part of the company’s Brexit contingency plans. Fearing UK’s exit from the EU could cause disruption for the airline, Wizz Air secured a British air operator certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority.
‘New era of travel’
“Today marks the start of a new era in air travel in the United Kingdom, as we celebrate Wizz Air UK’s first flight following the approval of its UK operating licence,” said boss Josef Varadi.
The first flight will be to Bucharest in Romania.
Mr Varadi said: “While Wizz Air UK is a key part of our Brexit contingency plan, it is also the first genuine ultra-low cost carrier licensed in the UK and the natural next step in the development of our UK business, putting us in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities that may arise in what remains Europe’s largest travel market.”
Wizz Air is the eighth largest airline operating in the UK, with flights to 74 destinations in 23 countries from nine airports. It was recently named one of the top 10 best value airlines for flying short haul based on ticket price.
2.76 million passengers
Passenger numbers increased by more than 19 per cent to 2.76 million in April, compared with the same month in 2017. Wizz Air is not the only airline to expand its operations in preparation for when Britain leaves the EU.
In July 2017, British airline EasyJet announced it was planning to set up a subsidiary in Vienna, Austria, to ensure it could still operate within Europe after Brexit.
Brexit has placed a question mark over flying rights. Currently, as a result of the single aviation market, any EU airline can fly between two places within the EU, but these rights might change as Britain negotiates its exit from the bloc.
This article first appeared on our sister site, the i.