Budget airline Easyjet has confirmed that has kicked off the process to gain an air operator certificate (AOC) elsewhere in Europe, following the UK's vote to leave the EU.
The company was responding to reports that it was in talks about moving its headquarters away from the UK.
"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 in a European country to enable Easyjet to fly across Europe as we do today," the group said, adding that it has now started a formal process to acquire an AOC.
“Until the outcome of the UK/EU negotiations are clearer Easyjet does not need to make any other structural or operational changes," the airline added.
The company said it 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 group said in a statement.
Easyjet's headquarters are currently located at London Luton Airport and the company said it has no plans to move from Luton.
The airline, and its founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou, were supporters of the Remain campaign. Ahead of the vote, Haji-Ioannou said: "It is very possible that in a post-Brexit Europe a more restrictive aviation environment would mean fewer flights from the UK to Europe and hence less competition between airlines. That in turn would mean higher air fares so that the price of a family holiday to the Med will go back up again to levels last seen in the 1980s.
"An “open skies” policy in Europe has been good for travellers, good for airline employees and, yes, good for shareholders."
Shares in Easyjet dropped off a cliff following the referendum, after the airline warned that the UK's vote to leave the EU would hit the company hard. The group said the referendum result would pull revenue down amid economic and consumer uncertainty.
The stock was up by 0.92 per cent at pixel time
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