The UK arm of eastern European budget carrier Wizz Air has applied for an air operator’s certificate and operating licence with the Civil Aviation Authority to ensure it is “Brexit-ready”.

Wizz Air UK plans to start operations in the UK in March 2018 with several UK-registered aircraft, subject to approvals from the aviation regulator.

The Luton operating base of Wizz Air Hungary will become a Wizz Air UK operation which will see the company invest in local resources employing more than 100 management, pilots and cabin crew by end of next year.

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 Luton airport.

CEO József Váradi said: “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.”