Cyprus connectivity to the rest of Europe will improve after Hungary’s Wizz Air announced on Thursday it is making Larnaca its 28th base from July, stationing two A320s there.
Along with the establishment of the new base, Wizz Air announced 11 new destinations to seven countries from Larnaca starting in July.
The 11 new routes are Athens, Thessaloniki (Greece), Billund, Copenhagen (Denmark), Dortmund, Memmingen, Karlsruhe/Baden Baden (Germany), Salzburg (Austria), Suceava (Romania), Turku (Finland), Wroclaw (Poland)
Seats on those routes can be booked on wizzair.com from €24.99.
Wizz Air has been flying to Cyprus since December 2010, carrying over 800,000.
The Larnaca base is part of Wizz’s expansion as the airline is increasing its operations in Cyprus by 60%.
The Larnaca operation seeks to create over 100 new direct jobs with the airline plus more in associated industries.
“The two Airbus A320 aircraft will provide one million seats on sale from Larnaca in 2020,” said the airline.
Wizz Air is an investment-grade credit-rated airline, with a fleet of an average age of 5.4 years comprising of Airbus A320 and Airbus A320neo family single-aisle aircraft.
Wizz Air said its carbon-dioxide emissions were the lowest among European airlines in FY2019 (57.2 gr/km/passenger).
It has the largest order book of 268 aircraft of the state-of-the-art Airbus A320neo family which will enable the airline to further reduce its environmental footprint by 30% for every passenger until 2030.
Due to COVID-19, the airline industry is entering a new era of sanitized travel.
As part of these new protocols, throughout the flight, both cabin crew and passengers are required to wear facemasks, with cabin crew also required to wear gloves.
Following WIZZ’s stringent daily cleaning schedule, all of the airline’s aircraft are further disinfected overnight with the same antiviral solution.
Sanitising wipes are handed to each passenger upon entering the aircraft, any onboard purchases are encouraged to be made by contactless payment.
Passengers are requested to follow physical distancing measures and are encouraged to make all purchases prior to the flight online (e.g. checked-in luggage, WIZZ Priority, fast security track), to minimize any possible physical contact at the airport.
Demand for low-cost travel
József Váradi, CEO of Wizz Air Group said: “After 10 years of successful operations to Larnaca, I am delighted to announce our newest base here, as we see the potential and the demand for low-cost travel in Cyprus which is one of the most popular and rapidly developing tourist destinations.”
“We are dedicated to developing our presence in Cyprus and offering more affordable travel opportunities to and from Larnaca while keeping ourselves to the highest standards of our sanitizing protocols.”
He said Wizz Air is the lowest cost producer with the strongest liquidity position in Europe operating the youngest and economically most efficient fleet of aircraft with the lowest environmental footprint.
“With that in mind, I’m confident Wizz Air will make a profound impact on Cyprus’ economic development and the ramp-up of its tourism industry.”
Cyprus Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said: “This entire time, our strategy focused also on the country’s development the day after.
We are therefore pleased to announce that the restoration of Cyprus’ connectivity is launched in the best way possible, as it is combined with the establishment of a base by an important airline, Wizz Air.”
He said the airline was opening up destinations with which Cyprus did not have adequate connectivity, offering “exceptional benefits for the economy of our country”.
Cyprus is looking to revive its battered tourist industry with a reduction in value-added tax (VAT) from 9% to 5% as of July 1 to January 10, 2021, while the government is doubling its air and sea connectivity resources to €15.7 mln by the end of the year.
Eleni Kaloyirou CEO of Hermes Airports said: “The choice of Cyprus as the 28th base of Wizz Air at such a crucial time for the aviation industry is a great vote of confidence for us and highlights the rich prospects of Cyprus as a destination.”
We are confident that through the expansion of our fruitful cooperation we will significantly increase the connectivity of Cyprus to destinations we strategically target for better access, with a significant benefit for our tourism industry”.