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Wizz Air secures UK flying licence as it prepares for Brexit

Wizz Air's UK subsidiary started operations today with the first flight out to Bucharest
Wizz Air
Wizz Air says it carried 19.2% more passengers in April

Hungarian-based budget airline Wizz Air Holdings PLC (LON:WIZZ) said its UK subsidiary has secured a British air operator’s certificate (AOC) in preparation of Brexit.  

The carrier’s UK subsidiary Wizz Air UK, based at London’s Luton Airport, began operations today with the first flight out to Bucharest.

The new UK business and ACO is part of the group’s Brexit contingency plans to ensure it still has flying rights in the nation after the nation leaves the European Union.

UK and EU airlines have raised concerns they could lose flying rights across the two areas after Brexit if no deal is agreed.  

“While Wizz Air UK is a key part of our Brexit contingency plan, it is also the first genuine ultra-low cost carrier licensed in the UK and the natural next-step in the development of our UK business, putting us in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities that may arise in what remains Europe's largest travel market,” said Wizz chief executive József Váradi.

“Wizz Air has been committed to the UK ever since our very first flight landed at London Luton in 2004 and our continued expansion will mean additional investment and jobs in the UK as we build our current position as the 8th largest airline operating in the UK.”

READ: Low-cost airlines Wizz Air and Ryanair carry more passengers in March

In a separate statement, Wizz said it carried 2.76 million passengers in April, up 19.2% on last year.

The company grew its capacity with the number of seats rising 18.2% to 3.04 million after adding six new routes to and from Ukraine, Austria and Romania.

The load factor, which measures the number of seats available against the number of passengers, edged up 0.8 percentage points (ppts) to 90.9%.

On a rolling 12 months basis, passenger numbers increased 23.7% to 30.07 million, capacity jumped 22.3% to 32.90 million and the load factor climbed 1 ppts.

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