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17/07/2013

WIZZ AIR CONFIRMS WARSAW CHOPIN AIRPORT

Customers prefer Wizz Air’s base at Warsaw Chopin Airport

Warsaw, 17 July 2013 - Wizz Air, the largest low-fare, low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, today announced that its temporary operations at Warsaw Chopin Airport will become permanent from tomorrow, 18 July. The airline is currently operating flights on 20 routes to 14 countries from Warsaw Chopin Airport.

In December last year Wizz Air made the unprecedented decision to temporarily move its operations from Modlin to Chopin airport during the Christmas period due to Modlin’s inability to comply with basic operational requirements needed to ensure smooth flight operations and reliable customer service. The failure of Modlin Airport to install the Instrument Landing System (ILS) before October 2012 caused major disruptions to Wizz Air’s operations resulting in delays, diversions or cancellations of 160 flights affecting over 30,000 passengers between October and December 2012. Problems with Modlin’s runway and the subsequent closure of the airport by the Polish Civil Aviation Authority gave Wizz Air no other choice, but to maintain temporary operations at Warsaw Chopin ever since. 

Wizz Air is confident that its passengers will welcome the end of uncertainty caused by the runway closure at Modlin as many of them already expressed a clear preference for Warsaw Chopin Airport. A survey amongst 4,000 Wizz Air passengers revealed that over 70% of them dislike the poor accessibility of Modlin and feel that any savings on airfares are more than offset by the increased costs and time of travel to the airport. From Wizz Air’s perspective the lower airport fees of Modlin have been largely outweighed by high disruption costs, making Modlin a high cost airport. The lack of ILS and subsequent long closure of the runway undermined Wizz Air’s trust in Modlin, especially after the airport management’s continued reluctance to agree with Wizz Air on adequate and timely compensation for the period of massive flight disruptions due to the lack of ILS and for the period of temporary operations at Chopin due to Modlin runway closure. Following these latest developments Wizz Air now decided to begin permanent operations at Chopin Airport.

Wizz Air is committed to delivering the lowest airfares available at Warsaw Chopin and further growing its route network from the capital city.  In the recent past the airline announced 5 new exciting routes to Kutaisi, Hurghada, Grenoble, Kharkov and Glasgow, to enhance its profile as the hometown low-cost carrier in Warsaw. To celebrate the decision to stay in Warsaw Chopin Airport Wizz Air has just launched a 20% off seat sale on all flights from its Warsaw base: all seats on all routes are discounted for bookings done until midnight tomorrow on wizzair.com.

Wizz Air’s CEO, József Váradi said: “I am pleased today to give assurance and certainty to our passengers and crews who have been subject to unexpected airport changes due to the numerous shortcomings of Modlin Airport. We will keep bringing more new routes and more low fares to Warsaw Chopin Airport going forward as you would expect from your hometown airline.”