Wizz Air (W6, Budapest) has confirmed its nascent Wizz Air UK (London Luton) unit has been granted an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) and Operating Licence (OL) by the United Kingdom's Civil Aviation Authority.

In a statement, the budget carrier said Wizz Air UK would commence operations as of May 3 with its inaugural service between London Luton and Bucharest Otopeni.

The ch-aviation fleets module indicates the carrier has five aircraft on its books at present - three A320-200s and two A321-200s - with a further three expected to join by year-end.

"While Wizz Air UK is a key part of our Brexit contingency plan, it is also the first genuine ultra-low-cost carrier licensed in the UK and the natural next-step in the development of our UK business, putting us in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities that may arise in what remains Europe's largest travel market," József Váradi, Chief Executive Officer at Wizz Air, said.

Given the uncertainties surrounding the United Kingdom's impending exit from the European Union, due to take place in March 2019, both EU and UK-based operators have applied for AOCs in each other's jurisdictions. Aside from Wizz Air, easyJet (U2, London Luton) has already established easyJet Europe (Vienna) in Austria. Ryanair's own UK-based subsidiary - Ryanair UK (London Stansted) - is currently in the process of securing its own operating licences and permits.