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.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport announces new direct route to Budapest

Doncaster Sheffield Airport has announced a new Wizz air flight to Budapest to commence services from October 29, 2018.

The new thrice weekly service from Doncaster Sheffield – on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – follows the introduction of a route to Debrecen a few weeks ago. With the new route, Doncaster Sheffield will have a total of five flights per week and almost 100,000 seats to Hungary. Tickets for Wizz Air flights to Budapest, Hungary, are now on sale.

Chris Harcombe, Aviation Development Director, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: ‘Wizz air is an important strategic partner of DSA. Since opening operations in 2006 we have worked together in partnership to develop a growing range of routes with over 3 million passengers carried.

As one of Europe’s leading low cost Airlines renowned for low fares and exceptional service we share many of the same values. Today we are delighted to offer even greater choice to such an impressive destination, such is Budapest’

Owain Jones, Chief Corporate Officer at Wizz Air, said: ‘WIZZ is the European airline that is always creating more and more exciting travel connections for our customers across Europe and beyond. We are delighted to be the first airline to connect Doncaster Sheffield with Budapest, giving our UK customers in the north of England the opportunity to experience the stunning architecture, world famous wines and superb gastronomy on offer in one of Europe’s most beautiful and vibrant capital cities.’

One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest has several historical structures that would interest the tourists such as the Royal Palace, Hungarian State Opera, and Castle Museum. Known as the City of Baths, the city has over 120 thermal baths and spas around the Danube river and also hosts major music festivals such as Sziget Festival on an island located on the river itself.

The city is also rapidly emerging as a global business centre. It was previously named one the highest ranked cities in Central Eastern Europe for innovation and now regularly ranks within the top 30 European cities in the world.

Wizz Air to launch Lublin service from Liverpool Airport

European low-fares airline Wizz Air has announced plans to commence new flights from UK’s Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) to the Polish city of Lublin in May 2017.

The new service will be the North West’s only flights to Lublin – the largest city in South East Poland. The announcement comes as the airline celebrated the first anniversary of its Lublin base. Lublin will be Wizz Air’s sixth destination from Liverpool, adding to the airline’s existing flights to Warsaw, Gdansk, Katowice, Riga and Budapest.

Commencing May 21, 2017, the new twice weekly service will operate on Sundays and Wednesdays. With this new service starting next summer, Wizz Air’s weekly departures from Liverpool will increase to 17. Flights are now on sale with fares from £16.49 one way and can be booked on www.wizzair.com.

Paul Winfield, LJLA’s Air Service Development Manager, said, ‘We are delighted that Wizz Air are to further strengthen their presence at Liverpool by expanding their range of destinations to include Lublin and we look forward to continuing to work with them and explore further opportunities to operate more flights from Liverpool – the North West’s Fastest, Easiest and Friendliest Airport.’

Tamara Vallois, Head of Communications at Wizz Air, said: ‘We are thrilled today to announce our sixth route from Liverpool. The new service is our fourth low-fare connection from Liverpool to Poland and offers direct access to the picturesque city of Lublin in Lesser Poland. Lublin boasts a beautiful Old Town and is ideal for a short city break as well as a great value for money longer getaway. With tickets starting from only £16.49, we hope to see many happy customers on board our young fleet.’

Gabor Vasarhelyi, Corporate Communications Manager at Wizz Air, commented: ‘The first WIZZ flight took off from Lublin Airport in 2012 and since then, we carried over half million passengers on our low-fare Lublin routes. In 2015 we established base operations in the city creating a number of local jobs and bringing affordable travel to even more Polish customers. Today we celebrate the first anniversary of our base with an exciting announcement of the newest destination in our Lublin network. Liverpool is now available on our low fares from Lublin and we are sure customers will appreciate this connection to yet another attractive UK destination. We will remain committed to our Lublin customers and look forward to continuing our fruitful cooperation with Lublin Airport as we bring more opportunities to Lesser Poland.’

Since its first flight in 2012, Wizz Air has constantly expanded its Lublin network, which now includes seven low-fare routes to four countries. In 2015, Wizz Air carried 175,000 passengers on its Lublin routes. In 2016 Wizz Air has over 300,000 seats on sale on its Lublin routes, which represents a 57 per cent growth year over year.

Sun Air announces new route from Bremen to London City Airport and Manchester

Sun Air, the Danish airline and a franchise partner of British Airways, has announced the launch of two new routes from Bremen to both London City and Manchester, starting October 31, 2016.

The Bremen – London City route will have 10 weekly return flights, while Bremen – Manchester will have 11 weekly return flights. Both routes will be operated by a 32-seater Dornier 328 aircraft with full in-flight service that includes a meal and Dornier wines, ice cream dessert and daily newspapers. Tickets are on sale starting today – September 2, 2016 – on ba.com.

Sun Air’s Commercial Director, Kristian Tvergaard, states, ‘We have over the years developed a great deal of experience with servicing the regional business sectors where focus is on point to point routes, optimised flight schedules tailored to the regional needs with morning departures and evening returns and a high level of in-flight service. We are very pleased with the close cooperation we have had with Bremen Airport in bringing this valuable market opportunity to life and already the new route has had attention and support from both German and British business people.’

Jurgen Bula, CEO Bremen Airport, said: ‘We are very happy about the two new routes from Bremen to London City and Manchester, which are served from the end of October of the British Airways franchise partner Sun-Air of Scandinavia. The brand ‘British Airways’ completes our portfolio of major flag carriers optimally.’

Matthew Hall, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport, said: ‘Bremen is an important business and manufacturing hub with a rich history and the new services operated by British Airways franchise partner SUN-AIR are a natural addition to London City Airport, making it the fifth German city to join our route network.’

‘With London City Airport’s rapid connections to central London and key business districts such as Canary Wharf, the new Bremen route offers speed and convenience for business travellers, so they can spend less time travelling to and from the airport and more time at the office or with loved ones.’

Sun Air already operates routes from Billund to London City and Manchester. Following the announcement of the new routes, the airline has opened a new base in Bremen.

WOW Air commences flight service from Reykjavik to Bristol

WOW Air has commenced its Reykjavik-Bristol route, with the first flight from Reykjavik to Brsitol launched on May 13, 2016.

The route will be operated three times a week all year round. With the new service, WOW air becomes the second airline to link Bristol to Iceland with a direct service, after British airline EasyJet.

Skuli Mogensen, founder and CEO of WOW air, said: ‘Today is a momentous day for us at WOW air as we launch our Bristol service, our second route between Iceland and the UK. This is a reflection of our continued growth in Britain and our mission to offer greater travel possibilities on either side of the Atlantic. We’re delighted to be bringing ultra low-cost travel to Iceland and beyond to the South West of England and we look forward to welcoming travellers from the region onboard.’

Robert Sinclair, Bristol Airport’s Chief Executive said: ‘We are thrilled to welcome the first WOW air flight from Reykjavik to Bristol Airport. The airline not only provides direct flights to Iceland but also affordable onward connections via the world-class hub of Reykjavik to North America.

‘The response from customers in the region since WOW air’s flights first went on sale has been fantastic, highlighting the growing demand for travel to the USA, Canada, and of course the breath-taking landscapes, natural wonders and unique charm of Iceland. We are delighted to be the first UK region to host WOW flights and look forward to working with the airline to grow passenger numbers on the route.’

On board the first flight were guests of Destination Bristol and Bath Tourism Plus, looking to build stronger links with the region for inbound visitors.

John Hirst, Chief Executive, Destination Bristol said: ‘The North American market is critical to the success of Bristol’s visitor economy, and both the USA and Canada are consistently within our top feeder markets generating an estimated 42,000 plus visits a year. The WOW network opens up further connections across the continent to improve access and so allowing us to welcome new as well as returning visitors to the region.’

David James, Chief Executive for VisitBath said: ‘Bath certainly has the ‘wow’ factor. Combining history, contemporary culture and world-class tourist attractions, Bath is a fantastic all-year round city break destination, all within easy reach of Bristol Airport.

The introduction of new WOW Air flights has the potential to bring thousands of visitors to the West of England, and it is estimated could generate millions to the local visitor economy.’

Wizz Air launches direct flights from Aberdeen to Warsaw

Wizz Air, one of the leading European low-fares airlines, has launched direct flights from Aberdeen International Airport to the Polish capital of Warsaw on May 13, 2016, the airport said in a release.

This is the first time that Aberdeen International Airport is offering a route to Warsaw, Poland’s cultural capital and a hotspot for tourists. Wizz Air will operate the year round, twice weekly service on Monday and Fridays. Seats on the new routes are already on sale and can be booked on wizzair.com.

Lynn Harwood, route development manager at Aberdeen Airport, said: ‘Wizz Air is an ambitious and rapidly growing airline and the addition of Warsaw is fantastic news for the airport and the city. We are continually working to expand our route network and not only will Wizz Air’s new routes strengthen our connectivity with Europe’s major cities, it has huge potential to generate significant in-bound tourism for Aberdeen.’

Tamara Mshvenieradze, Corporate Communications Manager at Wizz Air, said: ‘We are thrilled to be celebrating the launch of our Warsaw route from Aberdeen Airport. Aberdeen, one of our nine UK airports, is now connected with two WIZZ destinations in Poland: Gdansk located on the beautiful Baltic sea coast and the Polish capital Warsaw. Our professional crew is looking forward to welcoming many UK passengers with a WIZZ smile on board of our new Airbus fleet and we look forward to a fruitful partnership with Aberdeen Airport.’

Wizz Air first arrived at Aberdeen International Airport last year when it launched a twice weekly service to Gdansk in June – a very popular route today. With the expansion at Aberdeen, the airline now offers a total of 420 routes to 39 countries.

Aberdeen Airport earlier this year announced a total of £20 million investment at the airport, which will result in a 50 percent increase in the size of the terminal building and a complete transformation of current passenger facilities. The first phase of the three year project is scheduled to begin in May, 2016.

The planned investment includes the creation of two new passenger lounges, a new security search area, an expanded baggage reclaim area, new immigration facilities and new retail and catering facilities within the main departures lounge, the airport said earlier.

Wizz Air announces new route from Birmingham to Sofia

Wizz Air, one of Europe’s leading low-cost airlines, has announced the introduction of a new route from Birmingham to Sofia, Birmingham Airport said in a release.

The new route to the capital city of Bulgaria will commence on March 27 and operate twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays. The new service is Wizz Air’s sixth route from Birmingham, along with Bucharest, Budapest, Poznan, Warsaw and Wroclaw.

Tickets on Wizz Air’s new Sofia service are on sale and can be booked at wizzair.com from £28.49 one-way, including taxes and non-optional charges.

Tamara Mshvenieradze, Corporate Communications Manager at Wizz Air, said: ‘We are thrilled to announce a sixth route from Birmingham Airport, one of our eight UK airports, today. Birmingham is now connected with four countries on WIZZ’s low-fares: Hungary, Romania, Poland and Bulgaria we look forward to a fruitful partnership with Birmingham Airport as well as to seeing many happy passengers on board.’

William Pearson, Birmingham Airport’s Aviation Development director, said: ‘This news has really got 2016 off to a great start. We’re very excited about Wizz Air’s growth at Birmingham and delighted to see Sofia being added to the growing route network available from Birmingham. Having launched only in September with flights to Warsaw and Budapest, the carrier has since launched flights to Poznan and will be operating to Wroclaw, Bucharest and Sofia from the summer, as well as increasing services to the popular city of Budapest from two to three times weekly.

‘WIZZ is recognising the opportunities available from the Midlands region and opening up many brand new destinations, which are proving to be very popular with those visiting relatives and enjoying short leisure breaks.’

Separately, Birmingham Airport said that it has celebrated its most successful year to date, handling 10.2 million passengers during the 2015 calendar year – nearly five percent more than the previous year. On the whole, 10,188,889 passengers travelled through the airport in 2015 – the first time the airport has crossed the 10 million passenger mark in a calendar year in its 75 year history.

Flybe urges Government to scrap air tax on all internal flights

Flybe, one of the leading European regional airlines based in the UK, has urged the UK Government to scrap or significantly reduce a controversial air tax, The Belfast Telegraph has reported.

Domestic travellers pay a premium levy per mile that is 38 times the amount paid by long-haul passengers, Flybe claims. The company has sent an open letter to Chancellor George Osborne calling for the reform of air passenger duty (APD) to benefit passengers.

The highest tax of its type in Europe, the UK APD is also one of the highest in the world. Currently the basic domestic rate for APD is £13 – an amount paid twice on return trips.

Saad Hammad, the chief executive officer of Flybe, said that the Treasury had overlooked the way in which APD has disadvantaged regional travellers on a per mile basis in comparison to those travelling short-haul to Europe, and particularly those travelling long-haul.

The basic domestic rate for APD is £13, which would mean a traveller on a one-way trip from Manchester to the Isle of Man (109 miles) would pay £13. Meanwhile, if he were to travel from Manchester to Auckland (11,311 miles), he would pay £71. ‘This represents a tax premium per mile of 19 times for the UK domestic business traveller over the long-haul traveller,’ Hammad said.

He added that domestic travellers also ended up paying APD twice on return trips (because APD is a departure tax), whereas international travellers only have to pay it once. So, effectively, ‘the domestic traveller pays a tax premium per mile of 38 times!’ he said.

Flybe also emphasised that a return domestic flight should only have APD levied on it once. ‘There is absolutely no logic in such an unfair, discriminatory tax regime,’ Hammad said. ‘The availability of affordable, high-quality air service connectivity is fundamental to the economic prosperity of the whole of the UK.’

Meanwhile, a Treasury spokeswoman said that there were no plans to get rid of the levy. However, she said that the Government was committed to ensuring that APD was a fair levy for passengers.

‘That’s why we’ve made it cheaper to fly through freezing APD for most passengers since 2012, exempting children and reducing the number of bands, meaning it’s now lower for many more long-haul destinations,’ she said.

 

Wizz Air announces new route to Kosice, Slovakia from Bristol Airport

Wizz Air has said that it will add another new route from Bristol Airport to Kosice, Slovakia.

The new Kosice route will commence on October 10 and will be operated with two weekly flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The route announcement follows the introduction of Sofia, Bulgaria to Wizz Air’s schedule from Bristol. The addition of the Kosice flight brings the total number of Wizz Air destinations to three from Bristol, namely Katowice, Sofia and Kosice.

Tamara Mshvenieradze, Corporate Communications Manager at Wizz Air, said: ‘We are thrilled to announce the excellent news for customers in the South West of the UK. From 10 October we will fly from Bristol to Kosice every Tuesday and Saturday, making our newest Slovakian destination famous for beautiful architecture and rich cultural heritage ideal for short city breaks. WIZZ now offers 3 routes to 3 countries from Bristol. With fares from only £15.49 we urge our customers to book the lowest fares today on wizzair.com.’

Peter Downes, Head of Aviation Development at Bristol Airport, said: ‘This is exciting news and we are delighted to welcome another new destination to the Wizz Air route network from Bristol Airport.

‘Wizz Air is opening up new, previously unserved markets for passengers in the South West and Wales, and these destinations offer customers more choice than ever before when planning a city break getaway.As a previous holder of European Capital of Culture, and serving as a gateway to six UNESCO world heritage sites including the world-famous Tokaj wine region, Kosice is one of the hidden gems of Eastern Europe.’

A city in eastern Slovakia situated on the river Hornad, Kosice presents travellers and explorers with a well preserved historical centre with many historical buildings, palaces and churches. Slovakia’s biggest Gothic cathedral – St. Elizabeths Cathedral – is one of the unique attractions of the city.

Kosice is the second largest city in Slovakia after the capital Bratislava. The city is near the border with Hungary and close to the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains.

Kosice was named the European Capital of Culture 2013.

Air tax damaging to the UK economy

Removing Air Passenger Duty would result in an additional 91,000 British jobs being created and £4.2 billion added to the economy in 12 months, it has been revealed.

The research, by World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC), shows that comes as Britain is about to face yet another rise in Air Passenger Duty. Increases planned from April mean a family of four flying to Malaga will pay £52 extra on the price of their tickets. This rises to £260 for the same family to fly to Florida and £368 to fly to Australia.

David Scowsill, WTTC President&CEO, said: “Air Passenger Duty is a completely disproportionate tax on people’s holidays and is hitting business travel hard. When the economy needs help, it is economically illogical to continue with a tax that costs the country some 91,000 jobs and as much as £4.2 billion.”

In the next 12 months, the UK government will collect £2.8 billion in extra tax from air travelers, far more than any other country in the world.

David continued: “Travel and tourism grew by 4.1 percent in the UK last year, but is forecast to slow to 1.3 percent in 2012. This slowdown is partly due to the impact of Air Passenger Duty, which is dampening demand.

“This tax is damaging the economy at a crucial time and is having a negative effect on trade with countries in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. We urge the UK government to recognize the impact on the overall economy and reduce Air Passenger Duty.”

Martin Craigs, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), said: “The UK is an island trading nation; air services are the vital lifeblood of modern global commerce. The UK Air Passenger Duty is now the world’s highest by a wide margin. It is certainly turning away tourism and trade from the world’s fastest-growing economic region, Asia Pacific.

“Airport Passenger Duty started in1994 at £5 and some worthy intentions to offset aviations carbon footprint. Today at £85 to zone D (Asia/Pacific) it’s a ‘detention tax’ that’s restricting job growth, alienating important trade partners and not being transparently directed to green projects. Airport Passenger Duty maybe easy to collect but it’s also easy to see its macroeconomic damage.”