Doncaster Sheffield Airport: Wizz Air to transfer flights to Leeds Bradford Airport

Budget airline Wizz Air has confirmed its remaining flights will operate from Leeds following the closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

The firm, which pulled a number of flights out of Doncaster earlier this year, said that services will transfer to Leeds Bradford Airport from October 31.

A spokesman said: “Wizz Air flights from Gdansk, Katowice, Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Bucharest, and Cluj-Napoca will continue to operate to Doncaster Sheffield Airport as planned until 30 October 2022.

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“Customers booked to travel on those routes after 30 October 2022 will be automatically rebooked onto flights operating to Leeds Bradford Airport and will be given the option to accept the new flight, change their booking to an alternative flight free of charge, or cancel their flight to receive a full refund to the original payment method or 120% in WIZZ credit.

Wizz will transfer its remaining Doncaster flights to Leeds Bradford.Wizz will transfer its remaining Doncaster flights to Leeds Bradford.
Wizz will transfer its remaining Doncaster flights to Leeds Bradford.

The move comes after Doncaster Sheffield Airport owners Peel announced the permanent closure of the airport next month with the loss of 800 jobs.

Politicians are urging the firm to reverse the decision and there have been calls for new Prime Minister Liz Truss to step in and save the airport which only opened in 2005.

Earlier this year, Wizz sparked what now appears to be the beginning of the end for the airport after pulling flights and removing its Doncaster operation.

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The budget airline took customers and airport bosses by surprise in June when it announced it was permanently cancelling flights to a number of holiday hotspots.

Wizz blamed the decision on DSA being ‘unable to guarantee the terms of its commercial agreement’ with the Hungarian airline.

DSA chiefs only found out about Wizz’s decision to ditch Doncaster after the firm released a statement to the media and in a fierce attack, airport bosses accused the airline of failing to reciprocate on its commitments to the airport.

In a statement released at the time, a spokesperson for Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) is disappointed that Wizz Air has, without prior notice, permanently cancelled 13 summer and winter routes, effective from 10 June 2022.

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"It is particularly distressing for our passengers that so many flights and bookings have been axed at such short notice. Although the Wizz Air announcement undoubtedly has substantial impact on DSA, our priority remains on minimising the impact of the Wizz Air decision on our passengers, wherever possible.

“Airlines, under pressure to stabilise their post-Covid operations, are consolidating resources at fewer airports to improve resilience in their strained networks. Wizz Air acknowledged this as a significant factor in their decision when they stated that “this decision stabilises our operations at other UK bases to help minimise disruption and delay as much as possible”.

"Unfortunately it seems flights at Doncaster have been sacrificed in order to support routes at other UK airports.

“Whilst the extraordinary circumstances currently faced by the industry are recognised, DSA has been a long-term supporter and sponsor of Wizz Air in the UK market, and for its part, has fulfilled in whole its obligations within the Commercial Agreement, including investing heavily in financial incentives and terminal upgrade works in support of a multi-year deal signed only last year.”

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“It is regrettable that performance by Wizz of its own commitments has not been reciprocated.”

Just last October, DSA and Wizz claimed a the deal would bring more flights, destinations and hundreds of jobs to the region. But relations between the airport and airline soured spectacularly – with both blaming the other over the cancellations of scores of flights.

In a statement issued in June, Wizz said: “It is with deep regret that we have had to take the difficult but responsible decision to cancel a large number of Wizz Air flights to/from Doncaster Sheffield Airport from 10 June 2022.

"Passengers with bookings affected by this will be contacted via email with advice on all their options, which include: rebooking, a full refund, or 120% of the original fare in airline credit.

“This decision is unfortunately a result of Doncaster Sheffield Airport indicating that it is unable to guarantee the terms of its commercial agreement with Wizz Air. Our priority is to minimise the overall disruption to our UK customers and protect the employment of our crew.

"As such, Doncaster Sheffield Airport based pilots and cabin crew have today received notification of this news, and have been offered the opportunity to fly out of another base in the UK. Given the current challenging operational environment in the travel industry, in particular with staff shortages within air traffic control and at airports, this decision also stabilises our operations at other UK bases to help minimise disruption and delay as much as possible.

“Despite unprecedented difficulties in the travel industry over the past two years, Wizz Air remains committed to long-term growth in the UK, creating hundreds of direct jobs while also stimulating the tourism and hospitality industries. We sincerely apologise to our customers in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire for the inconvenience this has caused.”