Easyjet has confirmed it is in the process of applying for an Austrian Air Operator Certificate, to enable it to establish a new airline based in the country.

The low-cost carrier said in a statement that “Following a rigorous and comprehensive process, Easyjet earlier this year applied to Austro Control for an Air Operator Certificate and to Austria’s Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) for an airline operating licence”.

Easyjet said that the accreditiation process was now “well advanced”, adding that it hoped to receive both the AOC and licence “in the near future”.

The carrier’s plans are to establish a new airline under the name Easyjet Europe, which will be headquarted in Vienna, and “will enable easyJet to continue to operate flights both across Europe and domestically within European countries after the UK has left the EU (regardless of the outcome of talks on a future UK-EU aviation agreement)”.

Easyjet said that the people and planes which will fly for the new airline “are already employed and based in EU27 countries”.

The carrier said that the new structure would make Easyjet a pan European airline group, with three airlines based in Austria, Switzerland and the UK.

But it stressed that while the new structure would protect “all of Easyjet’s current flying rights within Europe”, the carrier would “continue to push for the UK and EU to reach an aviation agreement which, at a minimum, will enable flights between the UK and EU”.

Easyjet also noted that no jobs would move from the UK to Austria as a result of the new structure.

The airline has operated in Austria for 11 years, and last year increased the number of passengers it carried to and from the country by 60 per cent.