Wizz Air UK announces two new routes from London Luton to Russia

Wizz Air UK, the UK-based, wholly-owned airline subsidiary of Wizz Air Holdings Plc, has said that it will launch two news services from its London Luton base to Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport and Pulkovo Airport in St Petersburg.

This is the first time that Wizz Air will connect its low-fare UK network with Russia’s two important cities. Since the launch of Wizz Air UK a year ago, the airline has become the largest operator at London Luton Airport, with over 40 percent market share.

The new flights on the Moscow route will launch on October 1, 2019 and will operate daily. The St Petersburg route, on which Wizz Air UK will be the sole British operating carrier, will also launch on 1 October 2019 and operate daily. Fares on both routes start from £25.99 one way including all taxes and non-optional charges.

Owain Jones, Managing Director, Wizz Air UK, said: ‘Today marks the launch of two of the most exciting routes so far in Wizz Air’s network. For the first time, Wizz Air is giving our customers the chance to travel from the UK to two of Russia’s greatest cities, avoiding high legacy airline prices with our ultra-low fares. We’ll be the only UK carrier flying to St Petersburg and on both new routes, our customers will enjoy Wizz Air’s great travel experience on-board Europe’s youngest and greenest aircraft. Moscow and St Petersburg are each steeped in culture and history, having seen some of the most momentous events in world history and should definitely be on everyone’s list of places to visit. The whole Wizz Air team looks forward to welcoming customers old and new on-board our new flights linking the UK and Russia.’

Currently Wizz Air has over 8.5 million seats on sale on its 61 London Luton routes, representing 20% growth year on year. With the new Moscow routes, Wizz Air now offers 100 low fare routes to 28 countries from ten UK airports.

Wizz Air announces new routes to Cyprus and Ukraine from London Luton

Wizz Air, a low-cost airline operating in Central and Eastern Europe, has announced the launch of two routes to Larnaca in Cyprus and Lviv in Ukraine from London Luton.

Wizz Air launched its service from London Luton to Lviv city earlier this month, and is the only direct route from Luton to the UNCESCO-listed city. Flights will operate Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Flights to the coastal city of Larnaca will begin on May 21 and will operate daily. Fares for both routes start from £55.99 one way including all taxes, non-optional charges and cabin bag. The new routes expand Wizz Air’s London Luton network, with more than 7.4 million seats on sale to 47 destinations in 23 countries.

In addition to the new routes, Wizz Air has also announced the allocation of two new Airbus aircraft to its London Luton fleet. The newly allocated Airbus A320s will be the sixth and seventh of eight aircraft to be deployed at Wizz Air’s London Luton base by June 2018.

Sorina Ratz, Acting Head of Corporate Communications at Wizz Air said: ‘Wizz Air’s continuing expansion at London Luton brings even more opportunities for our customers to travel to a diverse range of destinations at truly low prices. I encourage passengers to visit the fascinating cities of Larnaca and Lviv, whilst travelling on one of Europe’s youngest aircraft fleets. The arrival of a further two brand new aircraft at London Luton underlines our continued commitment to our UK operations, fulfilling our mission to provide great value flights and a unique and unforgettable travel experience.’

Currently the second largest operator at London Luton, Wizz Air carried over 5.5 million passengers from Luton in the past 12 months, representing 11% growth year on year, the airline noted.

Wizz Air announces new routes and fleet expansion at London Luton

Wizz Air, a low cost carrier in Central and Eastern Europe, has announced the launch of two new routes and the introduction of two new Airbus aircraft at its London Luton base.

Effective May 25, 2018, Wizz Air will commence its first flights from London Luton to two new destinations, Bratislava and Bari. The airline will operate daily flights to the Slovakian capital Bratislava, while flights to the Italian port city of Bari will operate on Wednesdays and Sundays until April 18, and thereafter increase to four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Fares for both routes start from £26.99 including all taxes, non-optional charges and cabin bag. Tickets are available to book at wizzair.com.

As part of its continued investments into its UK operations, the Hungarian airline will add a new Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 aircraft to its London Luton fleet. Wizz Air now has three aircraft based at London Luton, with a further five by June 2018.

As part of the #WIZZaroundEurope campaign and to celebrate the arrival of the two new aircrafts, one lucky passenger on the first flight operated by each new London Luton aircraft will win £1,000 of Wizz Air vouchers, hidden under a randomly selected seat.

Owain Jones, Chief Corporate Officer at Wizz Air, said: ‘This is an exciting time for Wizz Air and its customers as we continue to expand our network across Europe. Our UK customers now have the opportunity to explore the fascinating cities and surrounding regions of Bratislava and Bari at Wizz Air’s lowest fares and travelling on one Europe’s youngest aircraft fleets.

‘The arrival of two brand new aircraft at London Luton reflects our commitment to our UK operations as we continue on our mission to deliver the lowest fares to some of the most exciting destinations Europe has to offer. I know that the lucky customers who win the £1,000 Wizz Air vouchers on the first flights of the new aircraft will love exploring some of the hidden gems destinations that Wizz Air’s network has to offer.’

Wizz Air announces three new routes from London Luton, opens first UK base at airport

Wizz Air, a budget airline in Central and Eastern Europe, has opened its first UK base at London Luton Airport and announced three new services to Tel Aviv, Prishtina and Kutaisi.

Wizz Air will now base one of its new Airbus A320 aircraft at the airport, increasing operations to 42 routes from Luton. The aircraft will support the start of operations of three new routes from London Luton, which includes the only direct connection between Kutaisi and the UK.

Starting June 18, the new Wizz Air route from London Luton to Kutaisi, Georgia will operate on Thursdays and Sundays with fares starting from £23.99; to Tel Aviv, Israel on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays starting June 24, 2017, with fares starting from £97.99; and to Prishtina, Kosovo on Tuesday, Saturday, also starting June 24, 2017, with fares starting from £30.49. Fares are all one way including all taxes and non-optional charges. Seats on the new routes are on sale and can be booked at wizzair.com.

Besides the new routes, with the arrival of the new aircraft, the airline will also increase its frequencies on some of its most popular routes to Romania. Suceava will now operate five times per week, Constanta four times per week and Iasi flights will operate daily.

Owain Jones, Chief Corporate Officer at Wizz Air, said: ‘We are proud to celebrate the opening of the first WIZZ base in the United Kingdom at London Luton Airport. Wizz Air’s very first flight in 2004 was to London Luton and, since then, we have carried 30 million passengers on our low fare routes from the airport, stimulating the local tourism and aviation industries while strengthening business partnerships between the UK and CEE.

‘Our new base operations at London Luton Airport will create a number of local jobs with WIZZ and the new destinations added to the network mean even greater choice for WIZZ’s UK passengers with 42 popular routes to 18 countries operating from London Luton and ever more opportunities to discover Europe on WIZZ’s low fare routes. Our fantastic crew will ensure an excellent travel experience for each passenger traveling with WIZZ on board one of Europe’s youngest fleets.’ 

In 2016 Wizz Air carried more than five million passengers on its London Luton routes, making it the second largest operator at the airport. In 2017 Wizz Air will have almost 6.3 million seats on sale on its London Luton routes, representing 13 percent growth year on year, the airline said.

easyJet launches new Luton – Venice service

easyJet, a UK-based airline and the largest operator at London Luton Airport, has launched the inaugural flight of its services to Venice from Luton on Thursday, February 13.

To mark the occasion, the aircraft was flanked by giant Venetian masks in commemoration of the city’s famous ‘Carnivale’ and masquerade balls. Gavin Shuker, member of parliament for Luton South, joined the celebration as an honorary cabin crew member to welcome passengers aboard.

Launched just in time for Valentine’s Day, the new flights to the romantic city of Venice make it easyJet’s fifth Italian destination from London Luton Airport, along with Catania, Milan, Olbia and Pisa.

Sophie Dekkers, easyJet’s UK market director, said: ‘We’re thrilled to be launching our new services to Venice, easyJet’s 39th destination from London Luton Airport. easyJet flies over 4.5 million passengers in and out of Luton each year and we’re pleased to be expanding the choice and variety of our destinations from the airport.

‘This uniquely beautiful city offers something for everyone and we’re sure our easy and affordable services will be very popular.’

MP, Gavin Shuker, said: ‘It’s been great to join easyJet’s crew and passengers and celebrate the launch of the new Venice flights. easyJet and London Luton Airport are two of Luton and the region’s largest employers and it was fantastic to see this in action today.’

Annually, over 50,000 passengers are expected to use the new services between London Luton and Venice, which depart each Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Fares are available from GBP31.83 one way, including taxes.

Ryanair and National Express agree partnership

Ireland-based low cost carrier Ryanair and Europe’s largest scheduled coach operator National Express have announced a partnership deal to provide travellers arriving at and departing from Manchester and London airports with direct and affordable coach links.

Passengers travelling to or from London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted and Manchester with Ryanair will be able to book online for direct National Express connections. This can be made via Ryanair’s own website, Ryanair.com, or by purchasing tickets onboard Ryanair flights in the UK. National Express has a strong focus on providing links to and from airports and other destinations in the UK, with around one-third of its services linking to an airport 24-7.

Commenting on the agreement, Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said, ‘Ryanair will carry over 80m passengers this year at the lowest fares, connecting 180 airports through over 1,500 routes. Now our passengers can go even further thanks to a new partnership with National Express, with coach tickets available to purchase both on the Ryanair.com website and onboard Ryanair flights operating to and from London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted and Manchester Airport.’

Tom Stables, National Express UK Coach Manager Director, added, ‘We operate millions of passenger journeys to UK airports each year and are pleased our new partnership with Ryanair makes it that bit easier for people to get their trip off to a flying start. It’s now even simpler for holidaymakers and business travellers to benefit from affordable airport travel.’

UK airports might be sold

The Spanish owner of two UK airports and contract holder for a third is likely to offload the properties later this year.

The airports could change hands as Spain-based Abertis, which currently owns the Cardiff and Belfast airports and has the contract to operate Luton Airport, looks to sell off some of the 29 airports that it owns worldwide in order to bring down its debt.

To make inroads into reducing its GBP12.2bn debt, Abertis is expected to begin by selling Cardiff airport to the Welsh government by as early as next month. That deal has been negotiated since late last year, and an offer of around GBP50 million is expected soon. On completion, the government will hope to halt a trend that has seen the airport’s passenger numbers halve to 1 million per annum over the last 5 years.

The decision to sell off the 30-year lease that Abertis has to run Luton airport could be precipitated by last year’s demand by the facility’s owner, Luton Council, that the contract between them could be scrapped unless the Spanish company undertook an expansion programme to double the airport’s capacity to 18 million passengers a year. As a result, a GBP100m upgrade was agreed last August.

Abertis has owned Belfast International airport since 1996, having paid GBP72 million for it. It currently handles 4 million passengers a year.

Abertis’ main business interest is toll roads. Its airports, which are not considered to be core assets, only accounted for 8 percent of its EUR4bn 2012 revenue.

An Abertis spokesman was quoted by the Guardian, saying, ‘We are conducting a review of all our airport businesses to see if a sale is possible. All options are open, including the sale of our UK airports.’

 

Aer Lingus Regional to Terminate Flights from Waterford in Ireland

Aer Lingus Regional, a service operated by Irish regional airline, Aer Arann, under a franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, an Ireland-based airline, is set to withdraw its base at Waterford Airport in Ireland, from 2013.

The airline will be terminating its routes from Waterford Airport to Manchester, London Luton and London Southend airports in England, from New Year 2013.

The airline chief executive officer, Graham Doyle, said, ‘We have been aware of Aer Arann’s difficulties since before their examinership in 2010 and continued to work with them through these challenges. Regrettably, however, the airline has limited its capacity on the Waterford routes. This has been due to issues elsewhere in their business rather than the market in the Southeast region with a population of almost 500,000.

This has seen services reduced on the consistently high-performing London Luton route in favour of Southend Airport, whose owners are now also Aer Arann’s largest shareholder. The Southend route performed poorly by comparison so that even a major marketing push by Waterford Airport and our partners could not fully mitigate this switch.

It is clearly a blow to have key UK routes withdrawn in these particular circumstances and is especially disappointing given that the Aer Lingus Regional brand was only introduced at Waterford as recently as late March of this year – just over seven months ago.

We were delighted to be working with the Aer Lingus brand but our understanding is that the decision arises from the sale of an aircraft by Aer Arann that necessitates them further cutting their route network.’

Airports Charge Less for Parking Small Planes than Cars

Airports are charging cheaper rates for parking a small aeroplane than for parking a car, says a recent study.

The study, conducted on the UK’s 10 airports, shows that while parking a car for a day can work out to be expensive, it is cheaper to park a small aircraft for the same amount of time.

While London Heathrow Airport is the most expensive for parking a car, with a charge of GBP51.80 for 24 hours parking in the short-stay car park, an equivalent stay in the long-stay car park will cost GBP17.90 with advance booking. Manchester Airport charges GBP35 for a 24-hours parking at its short-stay car park, but it only charges GBP21 for the same period for parking a six-seat light aircraft.

John Lennon Airport in Liverpool charges GBP10.72 for parking a light aircraft, against GBP39.99 for a car park slot for the same time period. At Birmingham, it is GBP22.50 for a car and GBP10.80 for a plane, and at Bristol Airport it is GBP25 for a car and GBP17 for a plane.

Edinburgh Airport charges GBP23.50 to park a car for 24 hours, while the cost for parking a plane is GBP11.90 for the same amount of time. Glasgow Airport charges GBP21 for a car parking for 24 hours, while the cost for parking a plane is GBP11.52 for the same time period.

The only airport to buck the trend was Luton, where it is GBP36 to park a car and GBP38.88 to park a plane.

Russell Craig, the head of communications, at Manchester Airport, said, ‘Years ago airports made all their money from the planes. Now at Manchester, aviation income makes up less than half of our revenues. To be able to keep investing, you’ve got to find new revenue streams and some of that is car parking. But pre-booking is the way to save money. The turn-up prices are what they are.’