Hungarian budget carrier Wizz Air is to suspend nine routes from Cardiff effective September 19.
The routes in question are to Alicante, Corfu, Heraklion, Faro, Larnaca, Lanzarote, Palma and Sharm el-Sheikh.
Yes I realise these are leisure destinations and that Business Traveller is a magazine for corporate travellers.
But I write this to inform you that Wizz Air (and other low-cost carriers for that matter) can change their minds in these difficult times.
Remember Wizz Air’s intention to open a Cardiff base in 2021, only to change its mind very soon after.
And more recently remember Wizz Air’s cancellation of over half of its routes to and from Doncaster Sheffield airport.
Marion Geoffroy, MD of Wizz Air UK said:
“We are very disappointed to have to suspend several routes from Cardiff for the winter season.”
She goes on to say “it would not be commercially viable to continue to operate them throughout this winter because of the challenging macro-economic environment”.
Instead Wizz Air will operate two new routes from Cardiff to Bucharest and Milan (Malpensa).
Wizz Air says the nine suspended routes will return in spring 2023.
But will they? From experience airlines like to tell customers a route is “suspended” because it sounds more palatable then saying it’s “cancelled”.
And Wizz Air is famed for “moving capacity around” (closing routes to open new ones) as a previous UK boss told LBC’s Nick Ferrari in summer 2020.
It now means government-owned Cardiff is set to lose another clutch of routes.
Perhaps its most significant loss was Qatar Airways which was wooed by the Welsh government offering a hefty subsidy.
Qatar Airways withdrew its Cardiff route early in the pandemic and has yet to return.