Winter sun holidays scuppered as Wizz Air cancels flights from Cardiff

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Wizz Air Cardiff Wales Cancel Flights
Wizz Air Cardiff Wales Cancel Flights

Winter sun holidays from Wales have been scuppered as Wizz Air cancels flights to beach destinations from Cardiff airport.

The budget airline is cutting journeys to nine holiday spots blaming "economic pressures" as post-pandemic pressures continue to hamper the travel industry.

The airline has stopped selling tickets to Alicante, Corfu, Heraklion, Faro, Larnaca, Lanzarote, Palma de Mallorca, Sharm El-Sheikh and Tenerife from September 19.

Holidaymakers who have already bought their tickets will be able to rebook comparable flights to go next summer from Cardiff or travel from London Gatwick or Luton Airport this winter.

Ticket-holders have been emailed if they are affected and will also be offered either a full cash refund or 120pc of their ticket cost in airline credit.

Marion Geoffrey, managing director of 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."

Wizz Air first started flying from Cardiff Airport in December 2020 and had hoped to increase its yearly seat capacity from the airport by 350,000.

But wider airport disruption and the rising costs of fuel has seen Wizz Air's profits widen to £381m in the first four months of the year.

Mr Geoffrey added: "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.

"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."

The travel industry continues to be hamstrung by a lack of staff at airports and major carriers. Heathrow has imposed a departure limit of 100,000 passengers per day due to a lack of ground handling staff.

The airport defended the controversial decision today by saying the limit had helped "deliver improvements to passenger experience".

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow's chief executive, said: "Passengers are seeing better, more reliable journeys since the introduction of the demand cap.

"I want to thank all my colleagues across the airport for their amazing work in getting people away on their holidays."

The company has said it will need to hire more ground handlers before it can lift the restrictions.

But it faces a slew of compensation claims from holiday companies that have been asked to limit flights to reduce passenger numbers at Britain's largest airport.