Wizz Air applies for UK license as it prepares for Brexit turbulence

Wizz Air applies for UK license as it prepares for Brexit turbulence
By bne IntelliNews October 18, 2017

Hungary-based no-frills airline Wizz Air has set up subsidiary in the United Kingdom and is considering acquiring an air operators certificate (AOC) in preparation for possible negative impacts from Brexit.

Central Europe’s largest discount airline announced the establishment of its UK subsidiary at London Luton, where it will add 100 jobs in management, pilots and cabin crew roles. Wizz Air operates 79 routes from nine airports in the UK, covering 41 destinations.

The company has been exploring contingency plans should there be no agreement between the EU and the UK over flying rights after Brexit and the current announcement will soothe investors' fears. Its sector peer Easyjet has already made similar moves to avoid possible disruption of business operations if there is no bilateral agreement reached after the UK leaves the single market.  

"We are pleased to announce that we are seeking a UK AOC and operating licence, further signalling our commitment to the important UK market,” Wizz Air CEO Jozsef Varadi said.

The Budapest-based low-cost carrier, which specialises in flights around Central and Eastern Europe, carried 23.8mn passengers last year, up from 20mn the previous year. Load factor, a key indicator in the airline industry, rose 1.9pp to 90.1%. It posted a record €246mn in net profit in its last business year, which ended in March. 

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