Wizz Air is set to continue its aggressive expansion at London Gatwick (LGW/EGKK) after it announced it had agreed to buy 15 slot pairs at the airport from Norwegian Air Shuttle.
The additional slot pairs mean that Wizz will base an additional four Airbus A321 aircraft there for Summer 2022 which it sees as a “tremendous opportunity for UK aviation to get back on its feet.”.
Wizz Air plans to announce new routes from Gatwick shortly for next summer as it seeks to increase its presence in the London airports market.
Speaking about the purchase, Wizz Air Group CEO Jozsef Varadi said: “Acquiring airport slots at Gatwick Airport will enable us to enhance our presence and competitive position in the London market,” adding “The 2022 season has the potential to be a tremendous opportunity for UK aviation to get back on its feet.”
Wizz Air had hoped always planned to expand at Gatwick after opening a base there in 2020 but said it was being stifled by a lack of available slots, something which Varadi claimed was down to airlines abusing the suspension of the 80/20 rule.
Under the 80/20 airlines must utilise 80% of their slot allocation or face losing them but this was suspended during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Wizz Air wants this rule to come back into force next year.