Wizz Air warned of “significant disruption” as its network of more than 50 routes from Luton airport were abruptly cancelled from today (Wednesday).

The action by the low cost carrier has been taken because of travel restrictions imposed across Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Services will be shut down until May 1 with the exception of a limited number of repatriation flights.

The routes affected range from Athens, Bergen and Larnaca to Moscow, Tenerife, Vienna and Warsaw.

The eastern and central European carrier said: “It is with great regret that the airline has reached this decision, which reflects the widespread and unprecedented disruption to both the Wizz Air network and the entire global air transport system, as governments enforce travel bans to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“The airline understands that these flight cancellations will cause significant disruption, and the Wizz team is doing everything possible to try to minimise the negative impact on customers.”

Passengers who made their bookings via travel agencies – including online travel agencies – are being advised to “get in touch with the company from which they purchased their tickets”.

Those who booked direct on wizzair.com or via the airline’s mobile app will be informed of flight suspensions via e-mail and automatically refunded 120% of the original fare as airline credit, which can be used in the next 24 months.

Alternatively, passengers can opt for a cash refund for 100% of the original fare and will be informed about the steps for a bank transfer or transfer to a bank card in a separate e-mail.

Wizz Air added: “The airline sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused by these unfortunately unavoidable cancellations, and assures that the safety, health and wellbeing of Wizz passengers and crew remains the top priority.

“Wizz sincerely thanks all its loyal customers for their patience during these challenging and unprecedented times, and looks forward to welcoming passengers on board again soon.”