On August 1st, Wizz Air Hungary became the first airline to obtain an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The carrier has taken advantage of a relatively new regulation it believes will support its “multinational expansion” across the EU.
EASA oversight from August 1st
In 2018, the EASA introduced Basic Regulation (EU) 2018/1139. This provides companies operating in more than one EU member state to request that the EASA acts as its competent authority, responsible for safety oversight and regulation.
Now, Wizz Air Hungary has become the first airline to take advantage of the two-years-old regulation. On Monday, the Hungarian low-cost-carrier announced that it had obtained an EASA Air Operator Certificate, effective August 1st.
“I am delighted to announce that Hungary is the first Member State that innovates Europe’s airline regulation, while Wizz Air Hungary is the first airline to have EASA as a European competent authority overseeing its AOC,” József Váradi, CEO of Wizz Air said in a statement seen by Simple Flying.
Hungary remains in control of routes
However, Wizz Air Hungary will continue to fly under the Hungarian flag. Furthermore, the Hungarian Civil Aviation Authority continues to exercise control over the carrier’s operating license and route permits.
“This groundbreaking regulatory model between the Hungarian and European authorities underpins Wizz Air’s growth ambitions and provides many new opportunities to innovate the industry as it has done during the past 16 years,” Mr. Váradi continued.
Supporting expansion plans
The carrier said it believes that acquiring an AOC from the EASA will benefit the “multinational expansion” of Wizz. The entire Wizz Air Group now operates a fleet of 126 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, some of them of the neo variety, with an average age of only 5.5 years. It flies to 46 countries and over 160 cities and does not look to be satisfied yet.
While other airlines have contracted and downsized during the crisis, Wizz Air launched 200 new routes in its second quarter. Despite reporting a €108 million ($125.8 million) loss, the carrier remains committed to new aircraft deliveries.
The past few months alone, it has announced new bases in Abu Dhabi, Larnaca, Milan, and Tirana. Furthermore, Wizz Air’s management remains optimistic even in the face of the ongoing pandemic, believing the airline could reach full recovery in as little as a year.
EASA happy to oversee a dynamic airline
The EASA is also pleased with the acquisition of its first airline over which to exercise oversight.
“We are very happy to have such a young and dynamic airline as the first airplane operator under oversight of EASA. The EU operating certificate is well-suited for airlines such as Wizz Air which have multiple operating bases in different EASA member states. As the centralised competent authority for Wizz Air’s operations, EASA will ensure an internationally recognised high standard of oversight for the airline,” Patrick Ky, Executive Director of the EASA, commented on the event.
Altogether, what are your thoughts on this progress for Wizz Air? Let us know what you think in the comment section.