Wizz Air has today announced that the airline, in partnership with not-for-profit organisations’ Choose Love, The Shapiro Foundation, The Steve Morgan Foundation and USPUK, will be offering 10,000 free tickets* for Ukrainian refugees to travel from Ukraine’s neighbouring countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) to the UK, in support of the UK Government ‘Homes for Ukraine’ visa scheme.
This joint initiative will launch this weekend with 10,000 free tickets* available for travel from 14 May to 15 June. To mark the launch, representatives from Wizz Air, Choose Love, The Shapiro Foundation, The Steve Morgan Foundation, USPUK and the UK Government will be gathering at London Luton airport this Saturday to welcome Ukrainian refugees - arriving on Wizz Air flights from Krakow and Warsaw in Poland - and connect them with their UK sponsors.
The main aim of this initiative is to make free travel available to Ukrainian refugees during this time of crisis. We would also like to support the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine visa scheme by enabling Ukrainian refugees to resettle in the UK with their sponsors. As of 5 May, the UK Government has issued over 95,000 visas to Ukrainians under its Homes for Ukraine visa scheme. Over 37,000 have already arrived in the UK and this new initiative will allow even more Ukrainian families to be welcomed into the UK in the coming weeks.
The Wizz Air free tickets are available on a total of 61 routes that the airline operates from Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia to the UK, and include one hand luggage item and one checked-in luggage item (up to 32kg) per person. The full list of routes with available free tickets can be found below.
Choose Love have also launched an official website, where donors (in Europe and UK) can contribute funds to add to the initial 10,000 free tickets, as well as provide much needed support to Ukrainian refugees once they reach the UK. People wishing to donate to the fund can do so by visiting the Choose Love site.
József Váradi, Chief Executive Officer of Wizz Air, said:“We are pleased that Wizz Air is able to continue to support Ukrainian refugees as part of the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme. We hope that this initiative will help many Ukrainians to reach a safe place in the UK soon. We have already seen great humanitarian efforts on the ground by our people across the network, and following our 100,000 free tickets offer to Ukrainian refugees in March and April, we wanted to continue to play our part in these efforts.”
Josie Naughton, Co-Founder and CEO of Choose Love, said:“Air fares should never stand in the way of people being able to access safety. We are delighted to be partnering with The Shapiro Foundation , The Steve Morgan Foundation, USPUK and Wizz Air to support people in their journeys”.
Edward Shapiro, Managing Trustee of the Shapiro Foundation, said: “We are honoured to partner with Wizz Air, Choose Love, Steve Morgan Foundation and the UK government to support this important initiative. We have been supporting travel programmes for displaced people around the world for several years and have seen the impact it can have. I have known the Wizz Air team since 2016 and I am grateful for their leadership in supporting the Ukrainian people during this critical time.”
Steve Morgan, Philanthropist and Chairman of The Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “I’m delighted to support this initiative. It’s fantastic that we’re able to play a key role in helping 10,000 Ukrainians left devastated by the war. Working with our excellent partners, this is a great example of how we can make a difference.”
Lord Harrington, Refugees Minister, said: “Bringing as many Ukrainians as possible to safety remains our number one priority and I am delighted to see this support from Wizz Air for our Homes for Ukraine scheme. I have been continually amazed by the huge amount of work happening on the ground and am grateful for both the generosity of the public and the ongoing efforts of foundations like the Shapiro Foundation, Choose Love and the Steve Morgan Foundation in providing Ukrainians with a safe and welcoming journey to the UK. This scheme must be a team effort and I encourage other businesses to step forward and partner with the third sector where they can.”
Ukrainian refugees wishing to book a free ticket can do so by visiting: https://wizzair.com/#/rescue. The free tickets will be available for travel from 14 May up until 15 June 2022. Passengers will be required to input their Ukrainian passport number (foreign passport used for travel abroad) at the time of booking in order to qualify for the free tickets, and they will also be asked to show their Ukrainian passport and required visa/travel documents at the time of check-in.
We would encourage all our customers to be at the airport at least three hours before their flight, in order to allow enough time to go through the check in, the security control and airport specific health and safety procedures. We would also urge our customers to check that they have the necessary travel documents in order to travel, for example a valid passport and a valid visa. Please visit the official website of the destination country to find out the most up-to-date information regarding the required travel documents.