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.

Ryanair announces two new routes from London Stansted to Ukraine from October

Ryanair, the Irish low fares airline, has announced the launch of two new routes from London Stansted to Kiev and Lviv as the airline plans to commence a service to Ukraine.

These new services will commence from the end of October, as part of Ryanair’s new winter 2018 schedule. The new London Stansted-Kiev route will operate five times weekly, while the London Stansted – Lviv route will operate thrice weekly.

The new Ukrainian routes are now on sale on the Ryanair.com website.

Ryanair’s Chiara Ravara said: ‘We are pleased to launch these two new routes from London Stansted to Kiev and Lviv in Ukraine, our 36th country. These new services will operate from the end of October, as part of our Winter 2018 schedule.

Seats from £19.99 are already on sale on Ryanair.com, and UK consumers and visitors can look forward to even lower fares and the latest “Always Getting Better” improvements including reduced checked-in bag fees, Ryanair Rooms with Travel Credit, connecting flights at Rome, Milan and Porto, and Ryanair Transfers.’

The new London Stansted routes are part of the 15 new Ryanair routes from Kiev and Lviv starting in October 2018. As per the plan, Ryanair will deliver 800,000 customers p.a. at two major Ukraine airports with 10 new Kiev routes to Barcelona, Bratislava, Gdansk, Krakow, London Stansted, Poznan, Stockholm, Vilnius, Warsaw and Wroclaw and five new Lviv routes to Dusseldorf, Krakow, London Stansted, Memmingen and Warsaw, the airline said.

In addition, Ryanair has recently announced the extension of its flight partnership with Air Europa. With the move, Ryanair’s customers can browse and book Air Europa connecting flights from 15 European cities to Madrid and onward to 16 countries in North, Central and South America, including Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and the United States.

Ukraine: A Football Fan’s Travel Guide

With the start of the UEFA Euro 2012 football championship now only six weeks away, England supporters will be anticipating their team’s opening game against France in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Monday June 11. But how prepared are travelling fans for navigating around a country that is not yet a regular tourist destination?

Those supporters intending to stay in Ukraine, at least for the duration of England’s three group-stage matches, will have to contend with a serious amount of travelling within a country that is close to two and a half times larger than the UK. The second England game is against Sweden in the Olimpiysky Stadium, Kiev, on June 15. Kiev is 369 miles from Donetsk, but it is a journey that ardent supporters will have to make twice, as they must return to the Donbass Stadium, Donetsk for the final group game against the home nation on June 19.

There are several options for travelling between Donetsk, a city in the west of the country that owes much of its development to the mining industry, and Kiev, the country’s centrally located capital. Rail is an obvious choice that offers a relatively comfortable and cost effective means of travel, but has a typical overnight journey time of twelve hours. The ticket price, one way, is approximately £38 for second class. A high-speed train was due to be operating in time for the championships, cutting the journey time to five and a half hours, but there currently appears to be no format available for booking this.

Another cheap option is to take one of the frequent bus services between the cities at less than £20 one-way, but again, be prepared to sit back and enjoy the scenery with a journey time that is also likely to take twelve hours or more. There are regular flights between the cities but they are considerably more expensive and seats could be difficult to come by at this late stage.

Driving between the cities, either in a rental car picked up on arrival or your own car if you have decided to bite the bullet and drive across most of Europe, is an option with plenty of pros and cons. On the plus side, you can sample more of the ‘real’ Ukraine by travelling across country at your own pace, and accommodation in towns that are a distance away from the championship venues is almost certain to be less expensive. However, on the down side, the standard of some of the country’s roads is poor to say the least, while the city roads are congested, and populated by motorists that drive with a ‘spirit of adventure’ that make them not for the faint-hearted. Also, while experiencing Ukraine’s backwaters might provide you with more of an insight into an intriguing country that few of your social group are likely to have visited, it is worth remembering that once away from the major cities you will be exposed to locals whose inexperience with tourists is likely to make them suspicious, off-hand, or even downright rude. Non-white visitors in particular could find a level of prejudice in some quarters that they would be unlikely ever to experience in Western Europe. And on the subject of personal security, whether in a major city or a smaller town, try to avoid flashing expensive jewellery or wads of money, Ukraine is still a relatively poor country and being seen as a rich Westerner will not earn you any more respect and could make you a target for scammers and thieves.

Basic medical facilities in Ukraine are not to Western European standards, either in the proficiency of medical staff, or in terms of facilities and equipment. Should you need medical attention while visiting the country you will be best served at one of the Private Clinics. These tend to cater for Ukraine’s middle class, so you will have to pay for the care that you receive, keep the receipts and make a claim on your travel insurance on your return.

By applying some pre-planning and common sense, experiencing a football tournament in Ukraine should certainly provide for a more memorable event than those hosted by nations that we are more familiar with . If England progress past the group stage, possibilities open up for travel to other cities in Ukraine or into Poland, all the way to the final in…but this is England that we are talking about, so perhaps we should take one step at a time!

Colin Gibson

Introduction of Ryanair May Lower Ukraine Hotel Prices for UEFA Championship

Hotel prices in Ukraine are expected to fall for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, with the introduction of Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, said the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister, Borys Kolesnikov.

Ukraine is hosting the UEFA Football Championships, along with Poland, from June 8 to July 1, 2012. Ryanair intends to offer services to the Ukrainian cities of Lviv and Donetsk from its hub in France from May 2012. Fans will able to attend matches with Ryanair on a round-trip basis, removing the need to pay for hotel accommodation, and it is expected that hotel room rates will come down in price due to the decreased demand.

In an interview, Ukrainian minister, Borys Kolesnikov, said, ‘I think that this problem will be resolved by the end of April. First, we are completing an agreement with Ryanair on its entry to the Ukrainian market, and all fans will be able to calculate the cost of a flight for every match and stay in Ukraine. And the price will be in favour of aviation. I think that price will significantly fall from that moment. It takes three-and-a-half hours to fly from London to Donetsk, and a round-trip ticket will cost $300. England will play three group stage matches in Ukraine. That is, total expenditures would be $900, if you just fly for every match. If the price of a hotel room costs more than $200, then it would be a lot more expensive to live here for ten days. I think that this will quickly cool the ardour of our hotels.’

Earlier, reports have said that UEFA president and former footballer, Michel Platini, has expressed his concern at high prices for accommodation at Ukrainian hotels during the Euro 2012 European Football Championship.