Budget airline EasyJet is in talks with European aviation authorities around the possibility of moving its headquarters out of the UK and into Europe in light of the UK’s choice to leave the EU.
The move was first reported by Sky News, which claimed that the brand’s chief executive Carolyn McCall signalled during private meetings that the company may move its legal head office from the UK post-Brexit.
In an official statement sent to The Drum, EasyJet confirmed that it was in the process of trying to obtain an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) – a document that would allow it to move its head offices to the continent.
“EasyJet is lobbying the UK government and the EU to ensure the continuation of a fully liberal and deregulated aviation market within the UK and Europe. This would mean that EasyJet and all European airlines can continue to operate as they do today,” the statement read.
“As part of EasyJet’s contingency planning before the referendum we had informal discussions with a number of European aviation regulators about the establishment of an AOC (air operator certificate) in an European country to enable EasyJet to fly across Europe as we do today. EasyJet has now started a formal process to acquire an AOC.” the statement read.
Despite acknowledging that it was in talks with EU officials, the company was keen to highlight that until the outcome of the UK/EU negotiations were clearer, that it “does not need to make any structural or operational changes.”
“We have no plans to move from Luton – our home for 20 years,” it continued.
About 1000 staff work in the brand’s Luton HQ, and the company’s commercial manager appeared on ITV news on Thursday (29 June) to say that there are no plans for job losses its Luton, Stansted or Southend hubs.
Irish-based rival Ryanair confirmed earlier this week that it will now “pivot” all of its growth away from UK routes following the result of the EU referendum.