British low-cost airline easyJet says it will apply for a new licence to continue flying within the European Union if Britain leaves the bloc as sterling's slide and fears of militant attacks hit profits. As Hayley Platt reports, the low-cost airline was a particularly strong opponent of Brexit.
It was a high profile anti-Brexit campaigner... and it seems easyJet had good reason to worry. The low-cost carrier has posted a 28 percent drop in pretax annual profits - its first fall in six years. The impact on sterling after the vote knocked 88 million pounds off the airline's bottom line. 30 percent of its flights are between member states other than Britain. But shares rose more than 4 percent after the results, partly thanks to news easyJet will apply for a new licence to continue flying within the EU after Brexit. (SOUNDBITE) (English) OANDA SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, CRAIG ERLAM, SAYING: "It is looking at other ways to be able to operate in Europe after the Brexit vote so I think this is a positive for the company, they have really got a head of the market on this one." It's common for airlines to have more than one Air Operator Certificate. But budget carriers normally try and avoid the extra expense. easyJet says it will split the £10 million cost between the current financial year and the next. SOUNDBITE (English) OANDA SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, CRAIG ERLAM, SAYING: "We've got to remember that the shareholders of easyJet are Greek and therefore they do have this benefit of being located in the EU already and that is one of the thinkings behind setting up company and making easyJet the subsidiary." With 6,500 employees the UK government will be pleased to hear easyJet plans to keep its headquarters in the UK. It's main rival Ryanair - based in Ireland - hasn't yet decided whether it'll need to apply for a UK certificate post Brexit.