The UK subsidiary of European low-cost airline Wizz Air has reportedly failed to settle hundreds of county court judgments won by disgruntled passengers who took the budget carrier to court for flight delays and cancellations.
Many of the judgments, which are collectively worth tens of thousands of pounds, remain ‘unsatisfied’ because Wizz Air UK claims it doesn’t actually have any presence in the United Kingdom and is, therefore, not bound by the County Court claims process.
Wizz Air is a popular low-cost airline which is headquartered in Hungary but has quickly expanded across Europe and now has operations in Abu Dhabi and even operates flights to Saudi Arabia.
The UK subsidiary of the airline was set up in 2017 to allow Wizz Air to retain full access to post-Brexit Britain by obtaining a local air operators certificate from the UK Civil Aviation Authority. The company is registered in the UK with a business address in Luton Airport.
The subsidiary formally started operations in May 2018 with flights from London Luton and has built its fleet from eight dedicated aircraft to 11 Airbus A320 series planes based in Luton.
Wizz Air UK has carried more than 15 million passengers in the last four and half years and now operates 69 routes to 30 countries, becoming the largest airline at Luton Airport.
But despite the airline’s seemingly obvious presence in the UK, bailiffs sent by the court to seize cash or assets to settle the court orders say Wizz Air UK doesn’t actually have any staff, offices or assets at its registered company address.
As a result, many of the county court judgments are still outstanding.
One recent judgment made on November 16 is worth £8,171, and there are many more unsatisfied judgments worth thousands of pounds. Court records detailing the unpaid claims stretch to reams upon reams of pages.
The airline has been contacted by a consumer rights journalist but has so fare failed to address the concerns, while there are mounting calls for the Civil Aviation Authority to intervene.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.