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Wizz Air launches UK licence bid ahead of Brexit

Opening its base in June

Hungarian-based airline Wizz Air has applied for a UK licence ahead of Brexit. It plans to set up a Wizz Air UK subsidiary at London Luton Airport, where it currently operates 41 routes. This will begin in March 2018 subject to receipt of an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) and Operating Licence from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The firm pledged to employ more than 100 people in management, pilots and cabin crew roles at Luton by the end of next year.

It follows the airline opening its first base in the UK at Luton in the summer.

Wizz Air chief executive Jozsef Varadi said:

"It is a natural next step in the development of our UK business and will bring additional investment and jobs to our UK base at London Luton. "The UK remains the single biggest travel market in Europe and we are currently the UK's eighth largest operator, and this move is also part of our broader strategy to ensure that our UK operations are Brexit-ready. "We look forward to working with the CAA to take this application forward."

– Jozsef Varadi

Man sentenced for sexual assault in hotel gym

A woman who was sexually assaulted in a hotel gym has been praised for her bravery in speaking out.

The woman was exercising on June 26th 2016 when she was approached by a drunken Kealey O’Kane. The 34-year-old made lewd comments and sexually assaulted her before she could escape.

Mr O'Kane was convicted of sexual assault following a trial and, today, was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 month. He has also been ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years and pay £1,750 in court costs.

“I would like to praise the victim for her bravery in coming forward to report this unacceptable attack. Being under the influence of alcohol is absolutely no excuse for harassing and assaulting someone and I’m pleased that he has been found guilty by the courts."

– Gary Hales, Bedfordshire Police


Flight operation bringing back stranded Monarch holidaymakers ends

The last of of the flights bringing stranded Monarch holidaymakers home after the airline collapsed landed at Luton airport this morning.

More than 80,000 holidaymakers have been repatriated to the UK as part of an operation expected to cost around £60 million.

The CAA brought more than 80,000 passengers back to the UK. Credit: ITV Anglia.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) put on 567 flights which brought back 83,875 passengers to the UK after the travel company went into administration.

The last of the flights - a service from Tel Aviv in Israel with 122 passengers - landed at Luton Airport at just after 3.30am this morning (16 October).

Administrators KPMG said 1,858 of around 2,100 people employed across Monarch's airline and tour group had been made redundant after the firm went bust.

Police release CCTV images after burglars carried out a "brutal" attack on elderly man in Luton

Police are urging people to come forward with information. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

Police have released CCTV images of people they want to identify in connection with a "brutal assault" during burglary in Luton. The incident left an elderly man with a fractured spine, fractured ribs and cuts and bruises.

He was set upon by two men after he disturbed them at his home on Ashburnham Road during the early hours of August 10. After searching the house the assailants fled empty handed.

The elderly man sustained a number of injuries Credit: Bedfordshire Police

“This was an incredibly nasty assault which left an elderly man injured and, not surprisingly, extremely shaken. We’re looking for people to help us identify two men in the CCTV footage we are issuing, who we believe may be able to assist us with our enquiries.”

– Detective Constable Jason Wheeler

Luton based easyJet records bumper summer sales

easyJet has reported record summer sales Credit: ITV News Anglia

After a week which saw Luton based Monarch airlines collapse, easyJet has reported record summer sales.

More than 24 million passengers travelled with Luton based easyJet in the last three months as they took advantage of low fares to beach destinations. 96% of their seats were filled.

However EasyJet's Chief Executive Carolyn McCall says the market is still challenging. She's warned the decline in the value of the pound will cost the airline 100 million pounds.


Police investigate reports "shots were fired" in Luton

Police are investigating reports that shots were fired in Luton last night.

Officers were called to reports of the sound of gun fire outside McDonald’s in Marsh Road around 10.55pm on Tuesday 3 October. They carried out a search of the area but thankfully no-one was injured.

Two men were initially arrested but have been released under investigation.

We take reports of firearms criminality very seriously and will not tolerate those who wish to bring fear to our communities in this way. We are following a number of lines of enquiry to establish what happened on Tuesday evening and would appeal for anyone with information or who witnessed the incident to get in touch.”

– Detective Inspector Andy Southam

More than 34,000 Monarch customers now flown back to UK

All Monarch planes have been grounded Credit: ITV News Anglia

More than 34,000 Monarch customers have now been flown back to the UK after the Luton based travel company went into administration on Monday.

The Civil Aviation Authority says it's chartered around than 173 flights, but still has around 75,392 passengers to fly home.

Passengers have been flown back

“Our operation has thus far gone well and I am very pleased with the progress we have made during the first three days. However, this is a huge undertaking and we still have 11 days to go. Everybody at the CAA remains completely focused on this mission."

– Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chair of the CAA
  • Day 1 & 2 - 119 flights
  • Day 3 - 54 flights
  • Day 4 - 58 flights planned

Today ( Thursday 5th October) the CAA plans to operate 58 flights and bring back 10,793 people.

Teenager stabbed by group of men

The attack happened in Moor Path, Luton Credit: ITV Anglia

Police are appealing for information after a teenager was stabbed by a group of men in Luton.

The 16-year-old victim was with friends in Moor Path at around 7pm on Saturday, 30 September, when they were approached by a group who then attacked him.

He was punched, kicked and then stabbed in the leg. One of the group then attempted to rob another man before running off empty handed.

Anyone with any information should call DC Layton on 101 quoting C/40879/2017 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

This was a nasty, unprovoked attack and we are keen to speak to anyone who saw what happened or has any information which could assist the investigation.”

– Detective Constable Catherine Layton

Anyone with any information should call DC Layton on 101 quoting C/40879/2017 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Almost 1,900 Monarch staff made redundant

Monarch Airlines has ceased trading with immediate effect. Credit: PA

The joint administrators of Monarch Airlines Limited and Monarch Travel Group have confirmed that 1,858 employees across the UK have been made redundant.

The Luton-based carrier has gone into administration causing severe problems for thousands of air passengers.

1,760 were employees of Monarch Airlines lost their jobs, while 98 were employed by Monarch Travel Group.

Partner at KPMG and Joint Administrator Blair Nimmo said: "Shortly before the appointment of the Joint Administrators, all employees received an email from the Company confirming that it was about to enter administration. Following this, the absolute priority for me and my team was to try and make contact with all members of staff as soon as possible, in order that we could communicate what the administration means for them.

“Regrettably, with the business no longer able to fly, a significant number of redundancies were made.

“Over the coming days, my team will be doing all it can to assist the employees in submitting claims to the Redundancy Payments Office for monies owed.”

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