Wizz Air Rebounds And Bets Big On The UK With New Base

Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air is betting big on the UK after announcing on Thursday that it is opening a second base at Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA). Wizz Air UK already flies ten routes from the South Yorkshire airport and will now increase that by seven new destinations with the addition of another Airbus A320.

Wizz Air new base Doncaster Sheffield
Wizz Air is a Hungarian LCC. Photo: Getty Images

By establishing its second UK base after years of operating its British business from Luton Airport (LTN), the move up north will be good news for South Yorkshire and Humberside. Earlier this year, Sheffield Doncaster Airport lost one of its leading carriers following the collapse of Flybe. With the arrival of Wizz Air, the hope is that some of the lost jobs will come back and that people will use the budget airline for affordable trips to Europe with fares starting as low as £17.99 ($24).

Wizz Air will have 11 planes based in the UK

From DSA, Wizz Air will serve the Spanish cities of Alicante and Malaga. Additionally, it will fly to Larnaca in Cyprus, Faro in Portugal, Lublin in Poland, Kosice in Slovakia, and Suceava in Romania. With the establishment of the Budapest-based airlines second UK venture, Wizz Air will create 36 full-time jobs and over 100 indirect jobs in the area. With another Airbus A320, Wizz Air will now have 11 aircraft permanently based in the UK, offering around 1.8 million seats on 107 routes.

Wizz Air, Russia, London Luton
Wizz Air has an all-Airbus fleet. Photo: Getty Images

The decision to open the new base at Sheffield-Doncaster follows in the footsteps of other new hubs in Bacău, Dortmund, Lviv, Larnaca, Milan-Malpensa, Tirana, and Saint Petersburg.

When speaking about the new South Yorkshire base, Managing Director of Wizz Air UK, Owain Jones said the following:

The creation of our second base in the UK is a major milestone for Wizz Air UK, and a testament to both our long term commitment to serving the UK market and the strength of the Wizz Air business model, as we continue to expand our footprint during this challenging time for the industry. We’re delighted to be introducing new low-fare connections to Doncaster-Sheffield, to provide customers with opportunities to explore new cultures and cities or return to their favorite holiday spots. The WIZZ team looks forward to welcoming customers old and new on-board our young and green fleet of Airbus aircraft very soon.”

The new routes from DSA start in October

The new routes will start from late October and operate on the following schedule with tickets available now for purchase on the Wizz Air website:

  • Doncaster-Sheffield to Alicante from October 22 on a Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
  • Doncaster-Sheffield to Malaga from October 23 on Monday and Friday.
  • Doncaster-Sheffield to Larnaca from October 25 on Wednesday and Sunday.
  • Doncaster-Sheffield to Lublin from October 22 on a Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
  • Doncaster-Sheffield to Kosice from October 23 on Monday and Friday.
  • Doncaster-Sheffield to Faro from October 23 on Monday and Friday.
  • Doncaster-Sheffield to Suceava from October 25 on Wednesday and Sunday.

Interestingly Doncaster-Sheffield Airport used to be called RAF Finningley and was home to Britain’s long-range Vulcan nuclear bomber fleet. Because of this, the airport has a long, wide runway capable of handling all types of aircraft and was designated an emergency landing strip for the Space Shuttle.

DSA has a catchment area of five million people

Doncaster-Sheffield Airport is located close to the M18 motorway three miles south-east of Doncaster and 19 miles east of Sheffield. Not as busy as other airports in the region, flying in and out of Doncaster-Sheffield Airport is something you should consider doing for your next trip abroad.

Vulcan Bomber
DSA used to be the home of the Vulcan bomber. Photo: clipperarctic via Wikimedia

While other airlines are furloughing staff and reducing the number of flights, Wizz Air is moving full throttle with its ambitious expansion plans.

What do you think of Wizz Air and its plans? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.