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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Wizz Air picks up Gatwick slots from Norwegian Air Shuttle

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Wizz Air is continuing its development efforts by acquiring slots from Norwegian Air Shuttle at London Gatwick Airport (LGW) and announcing intentions to base more aircraft there.

The low-cost carrier stated on December 22, 2021 that it had acquired 15 daily slot pairs from Norwegian and will base four additional A321neo aircraft at LGW.

From Spring 2022, it will have five aircraft based at LGW under its British subsidiary, Wizz Air UK.

Norwegian Air Shuttle, which has reconfigured its operations to focus on short-haul, announced in a separate stock exchange statement on December 22, 2021, that it no longer need the LGW slots.

“These are excess slots Norwegian does not intend to operate following the airline’s decision to discontinue long haul operations in January 2021 and could have been lost unless disposed of,” the Norwegian budget carrier said.

Wizz Air said it would share more information about the new LGW routes in due course. The London Luton airport is Wizz Air UK’s main hub (LTN).

The extra slots will also provide “huge inbound potential” for Wizz Air Hungary, according to the carrier.

“Acquiring airport slots at Gatwick Airport will enable us to enhance our presence and competitive position in the London market,” Wizz Air chief executive József Váradi said in a press release.

While the Omicron variation has resulted in increased travel restrictions for UK citizens, Varadi expressed confidence.

“The 2022 season has the potential to be a tremendous opportunity for UK aviation to get back on its feet,” the CEO commented.

Wizz Air recently announced a new aircraft order at the Dubai Airshow, as part of its plans to expand its fleet to 500 aircraft.

The new deal, which was announced on November 14, 2021, includes the acquisition of 102 A321 aircraft, as well as options for another 19 A321neo aircraft and purchase rights for another 75 A321neo aircraft.

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