Cardiff Airport's newest budget airline has postponed its launch due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

Wizz Air is to create a permanent base at the Rhoose site providing flights to destinations across Europe and Egypt.

The first flights with the airline were due to depart from Cardiff Airport in March, but owners have now postponed the launch to mid-may.

The budget airline will also create 40 jobs as it brings nine new routes in a much-needed boost for the airport. The airline said the move will also indirectly create 250 further jobs in the supply chain.

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Cardiff Airport will become the airline's fourth base in the UK, following Luton, Gatwick and Doncaster Sheffield.

They will be to resorts such as Alicante, Faro and Tenerife, as well as season routes to Corfu and Palma de Mallorca as well as Lanzarote and Sharm El Sheikh during the winter.

left to rigt: Spencer Birns, interim CEO Cardiff Airport; Wayne Harvey, chairman of Cardiff Airport, Owain Jones, managing director of Wizz Air UK.

The arrival of the airline, announced in December last year, was billed as a welcome addition and a much-needed boost for the airport after the collapse of Flybe in March last year.

As well as the loss of FlyBe, Qatar Airways suspended flights from Cardiff last year saying they were commercially unviable due to the significant drop in global demand for air travel.

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When contacted to ask when flights from the Rhoose-based airport to Hamad International Airport in Doha a spokesperson for Qatar Airways said there was no further update at the moment.

Owain Jones, managing director, Wizz Air UK, said: “Owing to the ongoing Covid-19 related travel restrictions, we have taken the difficult but responsible decision to postpone the opening of our new Cardiff base until mid-May, to give our customers, employees and business partners certainty during this difficult time. Tickets for the summer season remain on sale as recent booking data shows that our customers are keen to get away once restrictions lift, just like last year when they filled up all our sunshine holiday services.

"We continue to work responsibly with the UK Government to ensure that current restrictions can be progressively lifted at the right time allowing people to travel safely once again.

"With three new bases and 60 new routes announced in the past year alone, together with the upcoming arrival of 4 brand new A321NEO aircraft, Wizz Air remains committed to long-term growth, creating over 300 new jobs in the UK. We very much look forward to opening our fourth UK base at Cardiff Airport in the Spring and to welcoming passengers onboard our young and green aircraft fleet.”