Wizz Air to close Cardiff base over winter

Low-cost airline Wizz Air has announced its intention to suspend base operations and dramatically reduce its flight schedule at Cardiff Airport this winter.

In response to what it describes as the “challenging macro-economic environment”, from September 19, the Hungarian carrier will temporarily halt base operations during the winter months and stop services to destinations including Alicante, Corfu, Heraklion, Faro, Larnaca, Lanzarote, Palma de Mallorca, Sharm el-Sheikh, and Tenerife.

However, Wizz Air says it will continue to fly from Cardiff, with new winter season flights launching on October 30, to Milan and Bucharest.

Wizz Air opened its Cardiff Airport base in April this year after delaying its launch because of the pandemic.
Wizz Air opened its Cardiff Airport base in April this year after delaying its launch because of the pandemic. Wizz Air UK/Jac Osborne

Marion Geoffroy, managing director, Wizz Air UK, said: “We are very disappointed to have to suspend several routes from Cardiff Airport for the winter season. Though these routes have proved popular through the summer season, it would not be commercially viable to continue to operate them through this coming winter due to the challenging macro-economic environment. This leaves us with no option but to pause these routes until next spring.

“We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience this will cause customers who already booked flights with us. We are in touch with all affected customers to explain their options.

The airline currently bases a single Airbus A321neo at the Welsh gateway.
The airline currently bases a single Airbus A321neo at the Welsh gateway. Wizz Air

“We continue to value our close working relationship with Cardiff Airport and plan to resume base operations at the airport next year… It takes time to build up sustainable operations at any base and we are prepared to build up operations at Cardiff over the long term.”

As a result of suspending base operations during the winter months, the operator says all Cardiff-based employees will be offered redeployment opportunities at other UK airports over the winter. 

Wizz Air plans to increase its operations from Cardiff next spring and has already launched its summer 2023 flight schedule from the Welsh facility.

The base - which became the firm's fourth in the UK - was opened in April after its launch was delayed due to the pandemic.