Cardiff Airport has been announced as the latest UK base for fast-expanding Hungarian budget carrier Wizz Air.

The new permanent base will become the fourth in the UK for the airline. The expansion will create 40 jobs with an estimated 250 jobs further down the supply chain. The carrier has its main base at Luton as well as others which have been opened at Gatwick and Doncaster-Sheffield. The airline will service nine routes from the airport across Europe as well as seasonal flights to Egypt. The flights will launch from the start of the summer schedules start at the end of March 2021.

“Continued commitment to serving UK market”

Flights to and from Cardiff were decimated after the collapse of regional carrier Flybe in March 2020. Many routes have been suspended this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the closure of the Welsh government-owned terminal which cost the government £2 million a month.

Owain Jones, Managing Director of Wizz Air UK, said: “This is an extremely exciting time for Wizz Air as we increase our footprint in the UK even further. The creation of our fourth UK base at Cardiff Airport reflects Wizz Air’s continued commitment to serving the UK market and generating economic growth, as we create local jobs, stimulate the tourism and hospitality industries and deliver on our promise of providing affordable, direct flights to exciting holiday destinations.”

“Challenging year” for Wales

lSpencer Birns, interim CEO of Cardiff Airport, said: “On behalf of the team we are delighted to welcome Wizz Air UK to Wales. The fact that one of the leading low cost airlines in the world has chosen to set up their next base at Cardiff is fantastic news for Wales.”

“The Wizz Air UK base will bring a huge amount of choice for our customers to travel to some of the most popular holiday destinations from Cardiff, at affordable prices. We know many people living in Wales are craving a well-deserved holiday after such a challenging year and these new flights going on sale today from Cardiff, will give so many more opportunities for holidays to be planned now that will give us all something to look forward to for next year.”

The move was also described as “welcome news and a positive step that will help Cardiff Airport emerge from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates.

The nine new routes are to resorts including Alicante, Faro and Tenerife as well as seasonal routes during the summer to Corfu, Palma de Mallorca and Lanzarote and Sharm El Sheikh during the winter. Wizz Air said it will increase the annual capacity of Cardiff Airport by over 350,000 seats.

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