Irish airline Ryanair has filed for a UK Air Operator’s Certificate following repeated warnings from CEO Michael O’Leary on the possible effects of Brexit on carriers.

In a statement released yesterday, the low-cost carrier said a new subsidiary called Ryanair UK had filed for a licence with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on 21 December. It claims it may need the certificate to continue operating its three UK domestic routes “in the event of a hard Brexit in March 2019”.

The move follows a warning from the European Commission that airlines that don’t have headquarters in Europe could be prevented from flying in EU airspace unless a deal is made in Brexit negotiations.

Other carriers have taken or are considering similar steps, with Easyjet moving its European headquarters to Vienna in July 2017 in order to continue operating after the UK leaves the EU and Bmi Regional reportedly weighing up its options. 

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