Wizz Air confirms suspension of Luton flights
Wizz Air has suspended its service between Gibraltar and Luton, citing schedule adjustments arising from Covid-19 uncertainty.
The company had been in talks with the Gibraltar Government about the service but finally said it had made the “difficult decision” to end the route, at least for now.
“With the uncertain outlook for travel at the moment due to Covid restrictions, we have had to make a number of adjustments to our schedule,” the company said in a statement issued via the No.6 Convent Place press office.
“This decision has not been made lightly.”
“We are constantly reviewing our schedule and would be keen on re-entering the Gibraltar market when it makes most business sense for us, at the earliest opportunity.”
The airline’s decision was “extremely disappointing”, said the Minister for Business and Tourism, Vijay Daryanani.
“Once again, the pandemic has reared its ugly head,” Mr Daryanani said.
“These are unprecedented times for everyone.”
“The new Omicron variant has not helped the situation because all this does is cause uncertainty.”
“With all airlines constantly looking at their route networks and trying their best to protect their finances, it is understandable from a business perspective.”
“If the airline industry was difficult pre-pandemic, it is even more challenging now with so much uncertainty.”
“This is certainly not the time to gloat and play politics with the Government’s efforts in trying to bring connectivity to our airport.”
Even before the confirmation, the GSD had voiced concern about the prospect of the service being suspended after its received reports that the airline was pulling out “at least” until next March.
“The overenthusiastic words of the Minister for Tourism when the inaugural Wizz Air flight arrived, with accompanying water cannon salute last year, to the effect that he had ‘no doubt’ that they would become ‘long-term partners’ of Gibraltar now ring very hollow indeed,” said GSD MP Damon Bossino.
“We saw it with other airlines such as Volotea and Eastern Airways which have shown that they are not the permanent, long-term business partners that they were billed to be – indeed in the case of Volotea it did not even get off the ground.”
“It is clear that these flights have much more to do with commercial airlines responding to the fast-changing circumstances driven by the pandemic than any of the Government’s self-proclaimed efforts.”
“The Government should therefore get real, be honest with itself and the people that put them in office.