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New jobs created as Wizz Air expands with third base at Gatwick

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Photo: Owain Jones, Managing Director of Wizz Air UK

Wizz Air has announced they are to open a new base at Gatwick Airport, which will be the third base for Wizz Air UK, the group’s UK-registered and based airline, alongside London Luton and the recently announced Doncaster Sheffield.

The airline will allocate 1 Airbus A321 aircraft to the South London hub and launch four new routes to leisure destinations in Greece, Italy, Spain and Malta from 22 October 2020. 

Wizz Air started flying from Gatwick in 2016, and since then has carried almost 1 million passengers. With the creation of a new base at Gatwick, Wizz Air say will be able to offer passengers even more affordable travel opportunities, with 450,000 seats per annum on sale on its new routes to popular holiday destinations including Athens (Greece), Naples (Italy), Lanzarote (Spain) and Malta for the remainder of the year.

Today’s announcement will see Wizz Air create over 40 direct jobs which could be with local people and a further 125 indirect jobs across the region.

This announcement follows the recent expansion at Doncaster Sheffield, its first regional base, where the airline will allocate one Airbus A321 aircraft and launch seven new routes to destinations including Alicante, Malaga, Larnaca, Faro, Lublin, Kosice and Suceava in October 2020.

The addition of these new routes from Gatwick and Doncaster Sheffield represents significant growth of Wizz Air’s UK network, with the airline now operating 119 routes to 69 destinations from 11 UK airports. The creation of these two new Wizz Air UK bases also follows on from a period of rapid growth across the entire Wizz Air network, with recent announcements of new WIZZ bases in Doncaster Sheffield, Bacău, Dortmund, Lviv, Larnaca, Milan-Malpensa, Tirana, Saint Petersburg and the launch of over 200 new routes across the network since April 2020.

Wizz Air has been at the forefront of the industry restart by creating a new safe model for flying with the implementation of stringent health and hygiene measures to protect passengers and crew. HEPA filters on all Wizz Air aircraft already filter out 99.97% of viruses and bacteria from the air, and Wizz Air’s new protocols support physical distancing guidelines, ensure an ultra-clean environment on board and reduce any non-essential human interaction and physical contact, so that WIZZ passengers can feel confident that they are travelling to their destination safely.

WIZZ AIR’S NEWEST ROUTES FROM LONDON GATWICK

Route Operating Days Starts Fares from**
London Gatwick – Lanzarote  Monday, Wednesday, Friday 23 Oct 2020 £26.99
London Gatwick – Athens Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 22 Oct 2020 £26.99
London Gatwick – Malta Monday, Wednesday, Friday 23 Oct 2020 £21.99
London Gatwick – Naples Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 22 Oct 2020 £26.99

Owain Jones, Managing Director of Wizz Air UK said: “Already the fourth largest airline group operating in the UK, today’s announcement of our new Gatwick base and four new routes reinforces Wizz Air UK’s position as a British airline that is growing, creating new jobs, bringing much-needed connectivity to the UK and so helping the economy get back in the air.  Following on from last week’s announcement of a new Wizz Air UK base at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, we stand ready to continue to support the UK’s recovery with further growth at key airports, if slot-blocking by other airlines is stopped allowing WIZZ to deliver on our promise of providing affordable travel for all. Now more customers in the London area and the South of England than ever before can take advantage of Wizz Air’s ultra-low fares to travel to their favourite sunny holiday spot on-board our young and green fleet of Airbus aircraft, with our new Gatwick flights starting just in time for the October half-term – and with our special offer on WIZZ Flex, you can book in confidence that you can change your travel plans as many times as you need to, with no change fee.”

Stewart Wingate, CEO at Gatwick Airport, said:This is encouraging news for Gatwick, particularly at a time when the industry has been so negatively impacted by COVID-19. Having a new aircraft based at Gatwick underpins the resilience of our business for the long-term and ensures we continue to offer our passengers great choice. This is a welcome indication of the positive conversations we are having with airlines – both existing and new – about securing Gatwick’s future.”

Gatwick

New COVID-19 screening service launches at Gatwick Airport

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Gatwick Airport andExpressTest (a division of Cignpost Diagnostics Limited) has today announced the opening of a brand-new COVID-19 screening centre. 

The site, located within the airport’s Long Stay Car Park at the South Terminal, will offer a fast and accurate and lab-analysed PCR swab test.  It will be available for both passengers, employees based at Gatwick and the general public, including local residents, from Monday, 30th November.  

The facility is for air passengers who may require a valid, negative COVID-19 test certificate for destinations requiring one from up to 96 hours before travel, with passengers needing to check with travel providers that the test meets the specific requirements destinations ask for. 

It will also help those who may simply want extra assurance that they are not currently carrying the virus. 

The facility could also, with any necessary amendments, satisfy requirements of the Government’s expected “test and release” post arrival scheme allowing air passengers to reduce quarantine time required after travelling back from certain destinations.  Anyone with recognisable COVID-19 symptoms will still need to use an NHS testing facility. 

Air passengers and any employees based at Gatwick Airport will be charged a subsidised rate of £60 to use the screening service, whilst it will also be available for the general public for £99. 

A group discount is also offered, with up to 30% off for groups of four or more, for those who are having the full priced test.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is a priority for us alongside giving confidence to so many people who have missed travelling during this difficult year.  Our new screening facility is also a convenient service to offer people in the region looking for extra reassurance.  We are pleased to be subsidising the price for our passengers and any staff based at Gatwick so they are compliant with current destination requirements that many of airlines including easyJet, British Airways and TUI fly to.

“Our industry has been decimated by the pandemic and, while we welcome the anticipated  “test and release” scheme from the Government, we want to see an internationally agreed pre-departure testing regime, based on existing risk criteria, to replace the current uncertainty of quarantine and patchwork of testing approaches which currently exists across Europe.  A truly international approach would safely open up most of the UK’s travel routes abroad, while also helping to reduce transmission of the virus.”

ExpressTest Founder Nick Markham said:

“We are delighted to be Gatwick airport’s official screening partner.  We launched ExpressTest to give people peace of mind, whether that’s enabling

travel through our Fit to Fly certificates, or providing the reassurance needed to safely visit friends and family abroad or within the UK.  In the next couple of months we aim to have more than 30 locations operating across the UK, with the ambition of giving the British public the confidence to go about their daily lives in these uncertain times.” 

According to a press release, ExpressTest is delivered using the latest gold standard PCR equipment that is fully CE-IVD certified and manufactured to the highest possible standards, and tests are carried out by specially trained screening practitioners.  

The lab-analysed test results will be emailed or texted to customers typically the next day, with airline passengers advised to schedule a test 48-96 hours prior to their departure time, as a precaution.  Those who screen negative will be emailed a Fit to Fly certificate that is authorised by a doctor, along with their test result, however passengers will be responsible for checking with their travel provider as to whether this document is accepted before booking the screening service. 

Bookings open from Friday, 27th November, with the first test available on Monday, 30th November.

To book a test, people will need to visit www.expresstest.co.uk and select a date and time.  Customers will then be sent a QR code which they must bring with them to their appointment, along with their passport or employee ID. 

Payment will be taken during the booking process. 

Opening hours are 08.00 to 20.00 and customers are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to appointments.

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