Wizz Air to cut flights as Hungary closes borders to foreigners


BUDAPEST, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Wizz Air WIZZ.L will sharply reduce weekly flights to and from Hungary from Sept. 7, the airline said, after the government announced it would ban the entry of foreigners to try to rein in the coronavirus outbreak.

Hungary announced on Friday that it would close its borders to foreigners from Sept. 1 to curb a rise in infections and Hungarians returning from abroad will have to go into quarantine.

Wizz Air said in a statement that it would operate 32 flights per week between Sept. 7 and 30, down from around 126 flights in the Sept. 1-6 period.

On Sunday, Hungary recorded 292 new infections, the highest daily number since the start of the pandemic. Hungary has had a total of 5,961 coronavirus cases and 614 deaths.

"From Sept. 7 until 30 a greater reduction in flights can be expected, and only the most popular routes will remain available for passengers," the airline said.

The low-cost airline, which in recent years has expanded from eastern into western Europe, has been one of the fastest airlines to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Wizz Air warned last week that its recovery could stall as COVID-19 warnings and restrictions hamper travel across Europe but said Britain's quarantine rules had not led it reconsider long-term expansion plans there.

(Reporting by Krisztina Than; Editing by Nick Macfie)


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