Central European budget carrier Wizz Air has given a further indication of its expansive approach to the post-crisis environment by detailing plans to open bases at Milan Malpensa and the Cypriot resort of Larnaca
Wizz has been one of most bullish of European carriers in terms of resuming services, including announcing plans to move ahead with a previously planned Abu Dhabi operation in June.
It has today detailed plans to base five Airbus A321s at Milan Malpensa from July. It will add 20 new routes, in addition to the eight already serves from the Italian airport.
The new routes, which will gradually roll-out across July, cover 11 countries. They include six Greek destinations in Athens, Corfu, Rhodes, Santorini, Thessaloniki and Zakynthos.
Malpensa has become an increasingly popular airport for low-cost carriers. EasyJet is the biggest airline at the airport, while Ryanair, Vueling and Eurowings are also among its five biggest operators Cirium schedules data shows.
Earlier today Wizz announced plans to base a pair of Airbus A320s at Larnaca in support of 10 new routes. Wizz has served the Cypriot destination for almost a decade and Cirium schedules data shows it usually serves 19 routes from Larnaca.
The 10 new routes announced from July are to three German destinations - Dortmund, Memmingen, Karlsruhe/Baden Baden - Danish cities Billund and Copenhagen, Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece, Suceava in Romania, Finnish city Turku and Wroclow in Poland.
Wizz Air chief executive Jozsef Varadi says: ”We see the potential and the demand for low-cost travel in Cyprus, which is one of the most popular and rapidly developing tourist destinations.
”We are dedicated to developing our presence in Cyprus, and offering more affordable travel opportunities to and from Larnaca, while keeping ourselves to the highest standards of our sanitizing protocols.
Wizz operated around 3% of its schedule in April, but has since the start of May resumed some operations from London Luton and Vienna. Today it announced plans to open four new routes from Luton to Malaga, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Palma de Mallorca in Spain from July.
In April it outlined plans to open a single-aircraft base at Lviv from the start of July to support seven new routes - though all services to the Ukraine remain suspended until at least mid-June.
The new announcements take the number of Wizz bases to 29.
The carrier has also detailed plans to launch flights from Bucharest and Budapest to Abu Dhabi from June as part of its new UAE operation. A string of Romanian routes also remain suspended until 16 June as a result of continued travel restrictions in the country.
Wizz chief Varadi, speaking during a 26 May webinar organised by the World Aviation Festival, said the carrier’s low unit costs allow it to operate profitably even with its current, roughly 10% schedule. He says the airline has not cancelled or delayed any scheduled aircraft deliveries.
This article was updated on 28 May 2020 to add in Milan Malpensa base launch announcement