Gibraltar’s government has held discussions with Wizz Air in the hope that the airline will resume its regular flights to the Rock.
During this month’s CAPA World Aviation Summit & Awards for Excellence held in Gibraltar, minister for business, tourism and the port Vijay Daryanani met with both Wizz Air CEO Jozsef Varadi and EasyJet’sUK country manager, Ali Gayward, to discuss the airlines’ operations and future plans for Gibraltar.
After officially opening the two-day summit, hosted at the Sunborn Hotel, Daryanani said, “I am delighted to be able to welcome delegates from all over the world to Gibraltar for this extremely prestigious event in the world’s aviation calendar. This is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase what Gibraltar has to offer to these top airline executives and put our brand in the upper echelons of this industry. I am certain this summit will be a huge success and look forward to being able to host many more events of this calibre to Gibraltar in the future.”
In December 2021 Wizz Air suspended its twice-weekly flights from London Luton, due to “the uncertain outlook for travel” at the time”, but the German low-cost airline indicated it would continue to review the situation.
Speaking after the summit, Daryanani said, “It was disappointing that, after putting in a lot of hard work and convincing WizzAir to fly to Gibraltar, they decided to pull out due to lack of demand with the Luton service. I explained that this was due to the COVID-19 pandemic as all flights had a lower load factor.
“This year things are back to normal, with most flights operating at almost capacity. I look forward to engaging with the wider Wizz team that Mr Varadi has directed me towards and with his assistance we hope to welcome the airline back to Gibraltar.”
Meanwhile, EasyJet is, together with British Airways, one of the two main airlines operating regular flights at Gibraltar Airport, including seasonal routes from London Gatwick, London Luton, Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Of his meeting with the EasyJet executive, Daryanani said, “It was an absolute pleasure to finally welcome Ms Gayward to Gibraltar. I had invited her to visit us soon after I became minister for tourism in October 2019 but we all know what happened at that time. This was a good opportunity to discuss EasyJet operations to Gibraltar and what possibilities might exist in the future. There is nothing better than meeting on site and on the ground.
“The airline industry continues to go through challenging times and we need to understand how this works. Airlines are a business and they will go where they can make a profit. It is my job to convince them to come to Gibraltar and I am working non-stop to achieve that.”
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