Wizz Air seeks licence to avoid Brexit trap
Wizz Air has become the latest European carrier to move to shore up its post-Brexit flying rights by applying for a licence in Britain ahead of the country's departure from the European Union.
Flying rights are currently secured under EU-wide deals and because it is not part of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the aviation sector has no fall-back arrangement to protect flights if there is no deal between Britain and the EU.
Wizz Air UK, a subsidiary of Hungary-based Wizz Air, will begin operations in March 2018 if its application to the Civil Aviation Authority for an air operator's certificate (AOC) and operating licence is successful, it said.
Wizz said the move would see 100 new jobs added to its base in Luton by the end of 2018.
UK-based easyJet has chosen Vienna, Austria for an AOC, to protect its ability to fly between EU destinations once Britain leaves the bloc.
Meanwhile, travel giant Thomas Cook is setting up a new airline in Spain, a move it hopes will lower costs at a time of tough conditions in the short-haul market.