Economy Minister Ken Skates has met with Wales’ newest airline, Wizz Air ahead of the base launch at Cardiff Airport later this year.
The virtual meeting was the first opportunity for Welsh Government to officially welcome the airline to Wales, since the announcement in December 2020.
As Wizz Air’s first venture into Wales, the new base represents a significant investment in Cardiff Airport and the local region by creating over 40 direct jobs and over 250 indirect jobs, supporting industries such as aviation, transportation, hospitality and tourism. Connecting Wales with nine popular holiday destinations will provide a boost to the local economy by increasing the annual capacity of Cardiff Airport by over 350,000 seats, providing local travellers with even more choice on their doorstep.
The new base will offer flights to sun destinations including Alicante, Faro, Larnaca and Tenerife as well as seasonal routes during the summer to Corfu, Heraklion and Palma de Mallorca and routes to Lanzarote and Sharm El Sheikh during the winter season.
Wizz Air operate a fleet of 136 Airbus A320 family aircraft, including the new generation A320neo and the A321neo. Broughton, is one of two sites to design, test and manufacture the wings for all Airbus’ commercial aircraft.
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, said:
“It was great to meet the airline and discuss the future opportunities for Wizz Air to further expand its operations within Wales which will create jobs and benefit the economy.
“The base launch is testament to the hard work of the Cardiff Airport Executive team and is a positive step that will help the airport emerge from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. I look forward to seeing the first flights take off and further growth over the coming years.
Speaking at the launch in December 2020, Owain Jones, Managing Director of Wizz Air UK, said:
“This is an extremely exciting time for Wizz Air as we increase our footprint in the UK even further. The creation of our fourth UK base at Cardiff Airport reflects Wizz Air’s continued commitment to serving the UK market and generating economic growth, as we create local jobs, stimulate the tourism and hospitality industries and deliver on our promise of providing affordable, direct flights to exciting holiday destinations.
“The expansion into Wales brings increased connectivity to the region, so passengers can take advantage of Wizz Air’s ultra-low fares to travel to their favourite sunny holiday spots on-board our young and green aircraft fleet. With the launch of 47 new routes from the UK this year alone, we’re making sure that passengers can make up for lost time in creating amazing travel memories.
The base launch had originally been planned for March 2021 but was pushed back to May 2021 as a result of the ongoing restrictions on travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.