Wizz Air Gets UK Operating License, Launches First Flight
Hungarian low cost carrier Wizz Air has received its British Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and operating license from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, as it continues its preparation for the country’s exit from the European Union.
Wizz Air UK is based at London’s Luton Airport, north of the capital, and operated its first flight between Luton and the parent company’s Bucharest hub on May 3. The London-based fleet will rise to eight Airbus A320-family aircraft by the end of the year.
The LCC said it will create 300 new direct jobs at Wizz Air UK for Luton-based management, pilots and cabin crew.
The airline’s chief executive József Váradi welcomed the granting of the license, saying “Wizz Air UK is a key part of our Brexit contingency plan, it is also the first genuine ultra-low cost carrier licensed in the UK and is the natural next-step in the development of our UK business.”
Wizz Air has been expanding at Luton under its Hungarian EU operating license, acquiring take-off and landing slots from failed airline Monarch which was also based at the airport. It has already announced eight new Luton routes for 2018, bringing its total seat capacity to 7.4 million from its new HQ.
The airline said it is now the eighth largest airline group in the UK, operating flights to 74 destinations in 23 countries from nine British airports.