Wizz Air is expanding operations further at Luton airport after securing take off and landing slots from failed Monarch Airlines for an undisclosed sum.

The eastern and central European budget carrier is to deploy a further two aircraft at the airport, bringing its fleet up to seven.

New routes will be announced in due course as the airline raises capacity at Luton by 18% year-on-year tp a total of 7.1 million seats in 2018.

This means more than 10,000 additional seats available on 28 new flights a week from Luton airport to some of Europe’s most exciting and less-discovered destinations.

More than 70 new staff will be recruited, taking the total of local jobs created in the last year to 250.

The airline had previously announced expansion at Luton by adding four aircraft to its single Airbus based at the airport.

The sale follows fast in the footsteps of British Airways owner IAG taking over the bulk of Monarch’s slots at Gatwick.

It means Monarch administrators KPMG will recoup some cash for creditors from the failed airline. Wizz Air chief executive József Váradi said: “We continue to develop our business in the United Kingdom.

“Following the announcements of establishing Wizz Air UK and our accelerated growth plan just a few days ago, here we go again.

“Acquiring airport slots and airport nightstands at Luton airport will enable us to enhance our presence and competitive position in the London market.

“In summer Wizz Air UK will operate a fleet of seven A320/A321 aircraft, to grow the overall capacity by 18% in 2018.”

He added: “While Brexit will certainly pose challenges to the airline industry, we see it as an opportunity for Wizz Air, as our highly efficient low fare model will prevail even more under the new circumstances.”

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