Wizz Air UK (W9, London Luton) has confirmed to ch-aviation it has postponed the opening of its new Cardiff base until summer 2022 as a result of “ongoing COVID-19 related travel restrictions, and ever-changing quarantine measures in place across the UK and Europe.”
Spokesperson Andras Rado said: “It is with regret that we have had to take the difficult but responsible decision to further postpone the opening of our new Cardiff base until summer 2022 to give our customers, employees, and business partners certainty during this difficult time. This has not been an easy decision and we understand the disappointment our customers in South Wales will be feeling.”
Cardiff Airport CEO Spencer Birns responded: “Whilst this is disappointing news, we respect Wizz Air’s decision to further postpone the launch of its Cardiff base until summer 2022. This comes as a result of the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing travel restrictions. Flights are currently on sale from March 2022 and we continue to work closely with the airline in preparation for the base opening next year.”
The postponement came a day after Wizz Air announced that its new base at Cardiff would start operations on July 30, 2021, which was already a postponement from June 17.
The news followed the Welsh government’s announcement that fully vaccinated travellers returning from “amber” list countries would not have to quarantine from July 19 onwards. Still, the government has advised against all but essential travel overseas this year, which may have influenced Wizz Air’s decision. The airline nevertheless expressed continued commitment to its long-term growth in the UK.
When it opens next year, Cardiff will be Wizz Air’s fourth base in the UK following London Luton, London Gatwick, and Doncaster/Sheffield.
As previously reported, the Hungarian budget carrier plans to station one aircraft, a 230-seat A321-200 at Cardiff, to start with, and then grow the fleet at the base pending demand.
Nine destinations were to be served from Cardiff this summer, including Faro (Portugal), Larnaca (Cyprus), Kerkyra (Greece), Heraklion (Crete), Alicante, and Palma de Mallorca (Spain), plus Lanzarote and Tenerife Sur in the Canary Islands, Spain. This would have been followed by flights to Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt) in October