As UK-based airlines announce plans for new European centres of operation ahead of ‘Brexit’, Wizz Air is believed to be the first major European airline to open a UK-based operation for the same reason. Wizz Air UK Ltd, a fully owned and controlled subsidiary of Wizz Air Holdings Plc claims to be the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe. It has announced that it has filed an application for the grant of an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and Operating Licence with the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom.
Subject to receipt of its AOC and OL from the CAA, Wizz Air UK will begin operations in the UK in March 2018 with several UK-registered aircraft. The London Luton operating base of Wizz Air Hungary will become a Wizz Air UK operation which will see the company employing more than 100 people (management, pilots and cabin crew) by end of 2018. Routes not taken over by Wizz Air UK will continue to be operated by Wizz Air Hungary, maintaining and continuing to expand the group’s network of 41 routes from London Luton.
Wizz Air Chief Executive Officer, József Váradi commented: “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 8th 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.”