LONDON – Wizz Air (W6) has announced today that it will be increasing its operations at Riga International Airport (RIX) with a massive expansion that will also see one new Airbus A320 added to the Riga base.

The expansion will see the introduction of several new routes from Riga to Bergen in Norway, Birmingham in the United Kingdom, Billund in Denmark, Hamburg in Germany, Reykjavik in Iceland, Stockholm Skavsta in Sweden, Trondheim in Norway, with a new route also being announced by the airline from Tallinn in Estonia to Bergen.

Since opening the base back in 2010, the airline has carried and handled almost 3.8 million passengers from it’s Riga base, making it one of the larget carriers operating out of the baltic hub.

This announcement now means that the carrier will be operating a fleet of two modern aircraft out of the base, with the carrier saying it “remains highly committed to Latvia and offering greater service paired with low fares to its distinguished passengers.”

Riga International Airport. Photo: Wiki Commons

Comments from Wizz Air CCO

George Michalopoulos, Chief Commercial Officer at Wizz Air, said, “After ten successful years in Riga, today we are delighted to announce further expansion of our local network by adding the second aircraft to our Riga base.”

“With this announcement, we are adding seven new exciting routes from Riga to Bergen, Birmingham, Billund, Hamburg, Reykjavik, Stockholm Skavsta, and Trondheim, as well as one new route from Tallinn to Bergen.”

“We are confident that Wizz Air’s ultra-low fares and great route network will make travel affordable to ever more passengers and contribute to the ramp-up of Latvia’s tourism sector.”

A321-231 registration HA-LXZ on final at Naples International Airport (NAP). Photo: ©Marco Macca

Airline Expansion in the UK

The announcement for the expansion in Riga now makes it the second foreign hub for the Hungarian low-cost carrier to undergo new route and fleet changes.

The airline announced just two days ago its plans to expand its UK reach, adding Doncaster Sheffield Aiport (DSA) onto it’s UK hubs list which will be operated alongside their base in London Luton.

Owain Jones, Managing Director of Wizz Air UK (W9) said, “The creation of our second base in the UK is a major milestone for Wizz Air UK, and a testament to both our long term commitment to serving the UK market and the strength of the Wizz Air business model, as we continue to expand our footprint during this challenging time for the industry.”

“We’re delighted to be introducing new low-fare connections to Doncaster Sheffield, to provide customers with opportunities to explore new cultures and cities or return to their favorite holiday spots. The WIZZ team looks forward to welcoming customers old and new on-board our young and green fleet of Airbus aircraft very soon.”

Wizz Air Airbus A320-232 HA-LYW clearence for Pushback in Milan Malpensa Intl’ Airport (MXP). Photo: Andrea Ongaro @alphaoscaraviation

Wizz Air DSA Operations

Wizz Air operated its first flight from DSA 14 years ago and has since gone on to become the largest airline operating out of the UK airport, with it handling of more than one million passengers each year on flights to European destinations.

After announcing DSA will be made a hub for the airline, the carrier confirmed that it would also now look to increase the number of services being offered.

The new connections include destinations such as the Spanish cities of Alicante and Malaga, Larnaca in Cyprus, Faro in Portugal, Lublin in Poland, Kosice in Slovakia, and Suceava in Romania.

In addition, The airline will increase its fleet allocation, with the airline setting out plans to increase its UK based fleet to 11 aircraft. This will see the airline be able to offer around 1.8 million seats on 107 routes on flights for the rest of 2020.

Wizz Air Airbus A321-271N landing in Milano Malpensa Intl’ Airport (MXP). Photo: ©Nicholas Moneta

Wizz Air Expanding while Others Struggle

With the current state on European Air Travel, many airlines have made the decision to lay off large amounts of staff and also reduce fleet sizes in order to combat the much lower demand in air travel during the pandemic, which sees rules and restrictions on travel change constantly as each country deals with increases and decreases in cases as they come.

Despite these issues, however, W6 is going through a large European expansion.

Today’s announcement is W6’s ninth European hub to be announced for expansion, with the airline already confirming new bases in Bacău, Dortmund, Lviv, Larnaca, Milan-Malpensa, Tirana, Saint Petersburg with an additional launch of over 200 new routes across their network since April 2020.