Wizz Secures Last of Monarch's Landing Slots by Sweeping up Luton Haul

handshake with airplane in background
Photo by manfeiyang/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by Bradley Gerrard, The Telegraph, November 29, 2017

Low-cost airline Wizz Air has secured all the take-off and landing slots at Luton airport which belonged to defunct rival Monarch

The Hungary-based carrier strengthened its position at Luton last month when it formally launched a base there, adding four aircraft to its sole plane at the airport and announcing 30 additional flights each week.


Like this story? Subscribe to Daily News & Deals!

Featuring breaking news on the latest product launches, deals, sales promotions, and executive appointments. Be sure to sign-up for this free industry daily newsletter.

Now it has secured these slots, it will add more flights, to take advantage of the dip in the airline industry's capacity due to the demise of Monarch, Air Berlin and Alitalia.

It said in a statement on Wednesday that, following the purchase, it would increase its fleet at Luton by two aircraft, meaning it will have seven aircraft at the airport and increasing its capacity by 18pc. 

"For Wizz Air's customers, this means more than 10,000 additional low fare seats available on 28 new additional flights departing every week from London Luton airport," it added. 

The additional routes would be announced in due course, Wizz said. 

The sale comes just days after British Airways owner IAG secured the bulk of Monarch’s slots at Gatwick airport and marks the last of the Monarch slots to be sold. It means administrators for the fallen carrier KPMG will recoup some cash for creditors from the airline’s demise. 

A report issued by KPMG last week showed Monarch had £466m of unsecured debt owed to passengers and businesses which will not be repaid. It also has £164m of secured debt which includes money owed to former owners Greybull Capital as well as the Pension Protection Fund which took £7.5m worth of loan notes as part of Monarch’s 2014 restructuring.

The six graphs that explain why Monarch went under

Wizz has been moving to shore up its Brexit defences in recent weeks after it announced its UK subsidiary had applied for an air operator’s certificate, known as an AOC, as well as an operating licence from the Civil Aviation Authority.

It said it expected Wizz Air UK to start flying in March 2018 with several UK-registered aircraft. This move could help ensure the carrier can keep flying post-Brexit in the event a formal aviation deal has not been agreed.

Several other airlines have been making similar moves by applying for AOCs in European countries to protect their intra-European flying rights regardless of the Brexit outcome. This includes easyJet, which recently secured an Austrian AOC alongside its existing UK and Swiss licenses.

KPMG declined to comment. 


This article was written by Bradley Gerrard from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

Related Stories

Glitch Could Threaten 15K AA Flights Over Christmas, Says Union

Bali Airport Reopens, But Eruption Continues

Inside Lufthansa’s New Business Class

IATA Approves New System for Travel Agent Settlements

Suggested Articles:

Lee Kitchen spent 32 years at The Walt Disney Company spearheading marketing campaigns and operational efficiency changes. More here.

Berlin is home to a spread of decent and welcoming mid-to-lower range hotels that cater to a variety of travelers. Here's what you need to know.

Tropical Storm Nestor is set to hit the Gulf Coast late Friday. Get the latest travel updates here.