Budapest, Hungary – While most of the aircraft remain grounded and the world’s major airlines are taking a tumble as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Wizz Air, the Budapest-based low cost carrier, announced it would resume flights from London to Hungary and Slovakia, among other destinations.
Starting on Friday, May 1, Wizz Air will re-start connections between its U.K. hub at Luton Airport, London, and 15 major destinations in Europe and beyond, including flights to Bratislava and Kosice in Slovakia, and Budapest in Hungary.
Other destinations include Lisbon, Belgrade, Tel Aviv, Tenerife and eight cities in Romania (Cluj Napoca, Constanta, Craiova, Iasi, Suceava, Targu Mures, Satu Mare and Timisoara), but not the capital Bucharest.
While some critics have argued that restarting flights so soon could undermine efforts to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and appears to be designed to fly in seasonal workers from Eastern Europe to the U.K. at the expense of sanitary precautions, Wizz Air said that it would take appropriate measures to protect the health of crew and customers and introduce social distancing guidelines to reduce interactions to a minimum before and during the flight.
“Customers should check in and make purchases online, such as paying for additional bags, to reduce non-essential interaction at the airport”, the low-cost airline said, adding that cabin crew will wear masks and gloves during the flight and provide each passenger with sanitizing wipes.
“As we restart selected Luton flights to provide an essential service to passengers who need to travel, our primary concern is the health, safety and well-being of our customers and crew”, commented Wizz Air U.K. managing director Owain Jones.
While other low-cost airlines, including Ryanair and EasyJet, have grounded all or most of their fleet, Wizz Air CEO József Váradi said that around 10% of the airline’s aircraft “would be in the air by Friday”, and possibly 30% at the end of May or in June.
European air traffic has currently dropped by 90%, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).