Wizz Air to close Cardiff base in UK due to ‘high operational costs’

Wizz Air A321 aircraft
Mummert-und-Ibold / Shutterstock

Wizz Air will cease all services to and from Cardiff Airport (CWL) in Wales, the United Kingdom, citing “high operational costs”. The ultra-low-cost carrier’s two remaining winter routes to Milan (MXP) and Bucharest (OTP) will be shut down from January 25, 2023.

The decision was made considering a “challenging macro-economic environment” as well as “high operational costs”, which include jet fuel prices, Wizz Air managing director Marion Geoffroy said in a statement seen by the BBC on January 10, 2023.

“[…] We are unable to continue operating from Cardiff Airport. […] We sincerely apologize to our customers in Wales and the southwest of England for the disruption and inconvenience that this will cause. Our priority now is to ensure that all affected customers are contacted directly with clear advice on their options, and to look after our Cardiff-based colleagues and crew,” the managing director said.

Wizz Air launched its new base at CWL airport in April 2022.

Although the air carrier was expected to increase the airport’s capacity by more than 350,000 seats every year, it made significant cuts to its flight schedule in the autumn of 2022. At the time Wizz Air dropped a total of nine routes, including Alicante (ALC), Corfu (CFU), Heraklion (HER), Faro (FAO), Larnaca (LCA), Lanzarote (ACE), Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Sharm el-Sheikh (SSH), and Tenerife (TFS), citing low passenger demand for these destinations during the winter period. The budget carrier initially planned to return the routes in April 2023.

Wizz Air explained that employees who are currently working at the CWL airport base will be given the opportunity to join two of the airline’s bases at London Gatwick (LGW) and London Luton LTN).

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