Wizz ramps up Prague base as SkyEurope fails

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Central European budget carrier Wizz Air is to capitalise on rival SkyEurope Airlines' collapse by stationing a third aircraft at Prague.

Prague had been one of the main bases for SkyEurope which ceased operations today.

Wizz Air established itself in the Prague market earlier this year and has already laid out plans to base two Airbus A320s at the Czech capital.

But following the demise of SkyEurope, Wizz has disclosed plans to put a third A320 into Prague next year. The airline expects to open new routes from June 2010.

It will also begin increasing frequencies on current routes - among them London Luton, Rome, Brussels and Milan Bergamo - this month and next.

"With these frequency changes we are stepping up immediately to accommodate the increased demand," says Wizz chief Jozsef Varadi.

Wizz's network from Prague includes 12 destinations.

SkyEurope's court-appointed restructuring trustee has filed to open bankruptcy proceedings, after it failed to restructure under Slovak creditor protection.

In a statement parent SkyEurope Holding says the airline's halting of services is due to a "lack of sufficient interim funding to finance ongoing operations".