A major expansion of flights from Luton airport next summer is planned by Wizz Air.
The move to deploy an additional four 186-seat Airbus A320s by June 2018 follows the collapse of Monarch.
The arrival of the new aircraft and additional routes will create 150 new direct local jobs, increasing Wizz Air staff numbers at the airport to 180.
The Hungarian budget carrier will start daily flights to Larnaca in Cyprus and Bratislava in Slovakia plus four flights a week to Tallinn in Estonia and three flights a week to both Tirana in Albania and Lviv in Ukraine.
Services to Tel Aviv in Israel and Suceava in Romania will go daily and Pristina in Kosovo will rise from two to three times a week from next spring.
The airline is believed to have sealed a deal with Monarch’s administrators to acquire Monarch’s take off and landing slots at Luton airport.
While the deal is subject to a High Court wrangle, it is understood that Wizz Air is likely yo be allocated the Luton slots in any event, The Times reported.
Expanding at Luton could result in Wizz Air replacing a number of jobs lost by Monarch’s failure.
Wizz Air chief corporate officer Owain Jones said: “Today we once again bring more exciting news to the UK customers, again underlining Wizz Air’s commitment to the country.
“We are thrilled that after only five months on from opening our base in Luton, we’re announcing a massive expansion by allocating four additional aircraft Airbus A320 to our Luton fleet.
“Our investment brings benefits to the local community by creating 150 new direct jobs, as well as stimulating more jobs market in aviation and related industries. Wizz Air’s network from Luton will expand with five new routes, to Larnaca in Cyprus, Tallinn in Estonia, Lviv in Ukraine, Bratislava in Slovakia and Tirana in Albania, creating more choice for our passengers and even more opportunities to discover Europe on Wizz’s low-fare routes.”
Luton airport CEO Nick Barton added: “The announcement that Wizz Air is expanding its operation at Luton is great news for passengers, the airport and the local economy. Our redevelopment is focused on creating an even better experience for more passengers and that includes increasing our choice of destinations.”
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