Hungarian-based airline Wizz Air has applied for a UK licence ahead of Brexit.
It plans to set up a Wizz Air UK subsidiary at London Luton Airport, where it currently operates 41 routes.
This will begin in March 2018 subject to receipt of an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and Operating Licence from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The firm pledged to employ more than 100 people in management, pilots and cabin crew roles at Luton by the end of next year.
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The announcement comes amid growing uncertainty about whether flights will continue to operate between the UK and the EU after Brexit.
Chancellor Philip Hammond warned last week that if the UK and the EU are unable to reach an agreement then it is “theoretically conceivable” that flights will be grounded.
Wizz Air chief executive Jozsef Varadi said: “We are pleased to announce that we are seeking a UK AOC and Operating Licence, further signalling our commitment to the important UK market.
“It is a natural next step in the development of our UK business and will bring additional investment and jobs to our UK base at London Luton.
“The UK remains the single biggest travel market in Europe and we are currently the UK’s eighth largest operator, and this move is also part of our broader strategy to ensure that our UK operations are Brexit-ready.
“We look forward to working with the CAA to take this application forward.”
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EasyJet announced in July that it had applied for an Austrian AOC.
This will allow the company to continue to operate flights across the EU and domestically within the EU after Brexit.
A spokeswoman said at the time that “nothing will change” from the perspective of passengers.