The chairman of easyJet has voiced confidence that airline flying rights between the UK and the EU will be maintained after Brexit.
John Barton was speaking after the budget carrier won shareholder approval for a scheme to ensure that easyJet becomes EU controlled so allowing to continue to fly between and within countries on the continent after Brexit.
The airline’s annual meeting agreed to changes in easyJet’s articles of association to ensure it stays EU owned post-Brexit.
“We have no immediate intention of using these powers but they are an important element in ensuring that easyJet has the ability to maintain EU ownership and control at all times should we need to do so,” Barton said.
He described Brexit as “one of the biggest issues facing the European airline industry”.
Referring to the changes, he revealed plans to increase non-UK ownership for less than half to above 50% before the UK’s exit from the EU.
Alongside this, the airline is applying for a stand-alone UK air operating certificate which will operate its UK-based aircraft, with a decision expected from the Civil Aviation Authority within weeks.
“As part of this process the Department for Transport has this week informed the CAA that easyJet UK can be granted this AOC as a British airline,” Barton said.
“This status will be maintained after the UK leaves the EU and easyJet plc is majority EU owned.
“Finally, to ensure that we can use this new structure to continue to operate all of our flights after Brexit easyJet is working with the UK government, EU institutions and EU member states to ensure that flying rights between the UK and the EU are maintained.
“Given that consumers, airlines and politicians across the UK and Europe all want flights between the UK and EU to continue after Brexit we are confident there will be an agreement.”
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