Company News

Wizz sticks to UK expansion plans despite quarantine roller coaster

LONDON, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Hungary’s Wizz Air remains committed to expansion in Britain despite government quarantine rules which have created a roller coaster scenario for airlines trying to restart travel after months of lockdowns.

Low-cost Wizz, which in recent years has expanded its reach from eastern Europe into western Europe, has been one of the fastest airlines to recover from the pandemic, and is currently flying at 80% of last year’s capacity.

Wizz’s ambition is to build a 20 plane base at London’s Gatwick Airport, and Britain’s 14-day quarantine rules, brought in with little notice and which are deterring travel to Spain, France and Croatia, have not changed its plan.

“For the time being, the UK is manageable,” Wizz CEO Jozsef Varadi said in an interview with Reuters.

Wizz warned, however, that countries bringing in new travel restrictions meant its overall capacity would not rise higher than 80% for now.

“Eighty percent is as good as I think we’re going to get this time around. From here on, either you’re going be able to hold the line or somewhat come down on capacity,” Varadi said.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton