Wizz Air (W6, Budapest) has announced that it has acquired an unspecified number of landing and take-off slots at London Luton that were previously owned by defunct carrier Monarch Airlines (ZB, London Luton).

In a statement, the Hungarian budget carrier said it would use the increased access to boost the number of aircraft based at Luton, from five to seven. The added capacity will see Wizz Air's London Luton capacity grow by 18% year-on-year, to a total of 7.1 million seats in 2018.

"Acquiring airport slots and airport nightstands at Luton Airport will enable us to enhance our presence and competitive position in the London market," CEO József Váradi said in a statement. "In summer, Wizz Air UK (W9, London Luton) will operate a fleet of seven A320/A321 aircraft, to grow the overall Wizz capacity by 18% in 2018. 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."

Wizz Air currently operates from Luton to 41 destinations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czechia, Georgia, Hungary, Israel, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. It plans to add five new routes next summer adding services to Larnaca, Bratislava, Tallinn Lennart Meri, Tirana and Lviv.

As previously reported, IAG International Airlines Group has acquired a significant number of London Gatwick slots that, too, were owned by Monarch Airlines.