A large number of flights to and from Doncaster Sheffield Airport have been cancelled by budget airline Wizz Air, affecting travel to more than a dozen European locations.
The cancellations will be introduced from June 10, after Wizz Air claims Doncaster Sheffield Airport failed to guarantee terms of a commercial agreement with the airline. DSA has denied these claims.
Passengers with bookings affected by these cancellations will be contacted via email on Monday with guidance on all their options – rebooking, a full refund, or 120% of the original fare in airline credit.
The affected flights include: DSA to Lanzarote, Malaga, Alicante, Fuerteventura (winter schedule only), Larnaca, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife, Dalaman, Faro, Kosice (winter schedule only), Gran Canaria (winter schedule only), Riga (winter schedule only), and Lublin (winter schedule only).
Unaffected flights include: Flights from Cluj, Gdansk, Krakow, Katowice, Otopeni, Poznan, Vilnius, Warsaw and Wroclaw to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
A spokesperson for Wizz Air said the decision was made with “deep regret”, stating it was “difficult but responsible” to cancel the flights.
“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.”
The statement goes on to confirm these cancellations come at a difficult time for the travel industry, and Wizz Air hopes to “stabilise” operations at other airports across the country.
The Wizz Air spokesperson continues: “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.”
A spokesperson for DSA has claimed that the airport has been “sacrificed” to support Wizz Air’s other routes in the UK, before stating that it has “fulfilled in whole” its obligations within the agreement between the two.
“Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) is disappointed that Wizz Air has, without prior notice, permanently cancelled 13 summer and winter routes, effective from June 10, 2022. 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 appears that DSA services 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.”