IT'S one step forward, two steps back for eager holidaymakers wanting some Mediterranean sun this spring, as the UK Government announced its overseas travel ban is likely to continue into July, rather than the planned May 17 target.

Anyone attempting to leave the UK for non-essential purposes faces a fines of up to £5,000 under the UK Hovernment's tighter border restrictions.

And the disappointing news comes as a new operator from Cardiff Airport - Wizz Air - was dusting down its planes to fly from Wales' capital to destinations in Greece, Spain, the Canary Islands and Egypt 

Wales' Economy Minister Ken Skates met with the airline in recent days ahead of its offical Cardiff Airport launch.


The virtual meeting was the first opportunity for the Welsh Government to officially welcome the airline to Wales, since the announcement was made in December.   

As Wizz Air’s first venture into Wales, the Welsh base represents a significant investment in Cardiff Airport, with the Government saying the local region will benefit by the creation of over 40 direct jobs and over 250 indirect jobs, with the knock-on effect likely to be in industries such as aviation, transportation, hospitality and tourism.

Wizz Air's plans to connect from Cardiff to nine popular holiday destinations is expected to provide a boost to the local economy by increasing the annual capacity of Cardiff Airport by over 350,000 seats, providing local travellers with even more choice on their doorstep.

The new base will offer flights to dreamy destinations such as Alicante, Faro, Larnaca and Tenerife as well as summer routes to Corfu and Heraklion in Crete, as well as Palma de Mallorca. The airline also plans to operate services to Lanzarote and Sharm El Sheikh in the winter season.

Wizz Air operate a fleet of more than 130 Airbus A320 family aircraft, including the new generation A320neo and the A321neo types. Broughton in north Wales, is one of two sites to design, test and manufacture the wings for all Airbus’ commercial aircraft. 


Ken Skates, minister for economy, transport and North Wales, said: “It was great to meet the airline and discuss the future opportunities for Wizz Air to further expand its operations within Wales which will create jobs and benefit the economy."

“The base launch is testament to the hard work of the Cardiff Airport Executive team, and is a positive step that will help the airport emerge from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. I look forward to seeing the first flights take off and further growth over the coming years.”

Speaking in December, Owain Jones, managing director of Wizz Air UK, said: “The creation of our fourth UK base at Cardiff Airport reflects Wizz Air’s continued commitment to serving the UK market and generating economic growth, as we create local jobs, stimulate the tourism and hospitality industries and deliver on our promise of providing affordable, direct flights to exciting holiday destinations.

“The expansion into Wales brings increased connectivity to the region, so passengers can take advantage of Wizz Air’s ultra-low fares to travel to their favourite sunny holiday spots on-board our young and green aircraft fleet."

"With the launch of 47 new routes from the UK this year alone, we’re making sure that passengers can make up for lost time in creating amazing travel memories.”

The base launch had originally been planned for March but was pushed back to May because of the ongoing restrictions. Now it is unlikley anyone will be fastening their seatbelts for a foreign sunkissed break until summer.