Wizz Air to resume flights to Spain and Portugal in May

Confidence has drained almost completely from the world’s airlines, as a combination of international flight bans, local lockdowns and passenger anxiety grounded the vast majority of aircraft.

But one of Europe’s leading budget airlines, Wizz Air, is to restart flights from its UK hub at Luton to 15 destinations – despite the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

From 1 May passengers can book to several European capitals: Lisbon in Portugal, Budapest in Hungary, Bratislava in Slovakia and Belgrade in Serbia.

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There are also links to Tel Aviv in Israel, Kosice in Slovakia and eight cities in Romania – but not the capital, Bucharest.

The 15th route is to the key Spanish resort island of Tenerife.

Rumours this week have suggested Spain’s Canary Islands will remain closed to tourists until October, but these reports have not been substantiated.

The Independent is seeking greater clarity from the Spanish authorities.

Wizz Air said it would be taking measures to support physical distancing during boarding and enhanced cleanliness on board.

“As part of the measures to protect the health of customers and crew, customers should check in and make any purchases online, such as paying for additional bags, to reduce non-essential interaction at the airport,” the airline said.

”Throughout the flight, cabin crew will be required to wear masks and gloves and will distribute sanitising wipes to each passenger.

“Onboard purchases are encouraged to be made by contactless payment, to minimise physical contact.

“Wizz Air will continue its stringent daily cleaning schedule, with the entire aircraft being disinfected overnight in line with official guidelines.”

Owain Jones, managing director of Wizz Air UK, 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.”

UK passengers who do not have an urgent need to travel will not be able to reach Luton airport under current lockdown restrictions.

While British Airways is continuing to fly to around 20 UK, European and long-haul destinations from Heathrow, easyJet has grounded its fleet until June.

Ryanair, Europe’s biggest budget airline, is running a skeleton service from the UK and Ireland. It plans to resume large-scale flying in late June or early July.