Wizz Air has announced that it will begin a very limited service out of its base at London-Luton this Friday, 1st May 2020.
The Hungarian LCC will operate flights to 15 destinations including Lisbon, Belgrade, Tenerife, Tel Aviv and Timisoara in Romania, but oddly not the capital Bucharest.
The airline is at pains to assure the travelling public that it would be taking all practical measures to protect passengers and staff against transmission of the coronavirus. The MD of Wizz Air UK—Owain Jones—has said ‘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 wellbeing of our customers and crew.‘
Wizz has encouraged passengers to conduct as much business as possible on-line to minimise interaction at the airports including onboard purchases and paying for excess baggage. The airline has said that masks and sanitising wipes will be distributed to passengers, their cabin crew will be required to wear masks and gloves on board, and that it would be taking steps to support social distancing and increased cleanliness on board.
The resumption of the minimal service by Wizz seems curious; EasyJet has grounded its fleet until June, British Airways is flying to just 20 destinations out of the UK and Ryanair is only planning to resume a near-full schedule in late June or early July. Wizz’s Spanish destinations are locked down and don’t seem likely to open until the late summer. So where’s the traffic to justify this odd selection of routes?
Much further afield the Kazakh flag carrier, Air Astana, has said it will resume a limited domestic service within the central Asian republic on 1st May as well.
From Friday, there will be three daily flights between Almaty and Nur-Sultan using Embraer E190-E2 aircraft. As from 11th May, Air Astana will re-start other domestic routes as will its low-fare FlyArystan.