Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air has announced plans to ramp up its presence at its London base in Luton, and unveiled five new routes spanning Cyprus, Slovakia and Estonia.
The carrier, which bumped up its full-year profit forecast earlier this month, said it will add four Airbus A320 aircraft to its fleet at the airport by June of next year, having previously allocated just one plane to Luton.
Over the past 12 months, Wizz Air has carried over 5.5m passengers on its Luton routes, up 11 per cent on 2016. The airline is eyeing more rapid growth, expanding its capacity at the airport by 15 per cent year-on-year. Next year it will offer more than 6.9m seats on its 46 routes to 20 countries.
Today the airline unveiled five new routes, with daily flights to Larnaca in Cyprus and Bratislava in Slovakia. Four flights a week will go to Tallinn in Estonia, and three flights a week to Tirana in Albania and Lviv in Ukraine.
It is also increasing the frequency of flights on three of its more popular routes, with Tel Aviv and Suceava flights becoming daily in spring next year, and Prishtina flights increasing to three times a week.
Owain Jones, Wizz Air's chief corporate officer, said:
Our investment brings benefits to the local community by creating 150 new direct jobs, as well as stimulating more jobs market in aviation and related industries.
The airline has looked to cement its UK presence, opening its base at London Luton in June this year. Last month it announced it will set up a UK subsidiary in order to guarantee its flights in the UK after Brexit.
Wizz Air has been eyeing wider expansion too, with a 146-plane deal with Airbus worth $17.2bn (£13bn), under which deliveries will start in 2022.
Nick Barton, Luton Airport's chief executive, said: "The announcement... is great news for passengers, the airport and the local economy. Our redevelopment is focused on creating an even better experience for more passengers and that includes increasing our choice of destinations."