Recently this very author had the pleasure to fly on Wizz across Europe and was struck by just extensive their network seemed to be. Airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet consistently take the spotlight (especially the former with its outrageous CEO) but Wizz works hard in the background slowly expanding its routes and their offering. And like all fables, Wizz Air might now be the sleeping dragon that, once awake, will be totally unstoppable.
Who is Wizz Air?
Wizz Air is a Hungarian low-cost carrier that operates out of several eastern European hubs. It flies an exclusive fleet of 120 Airbus A320 aircraft. It was founded in 2003 by investor Indigo Partners, owners of three other low-cost-carriers; Frontier, JetSmart and Volaris.
The airline plans to push past the 40 million passenger mark this year.
You can check out a trip report of a Wizz Air flight here:
So why is Wizz unstoppable?
Its expanding network
With over 100 aircraft, the airline is able to greatly flex its inter-European routes. It flies between small bespoke airports in regional areas (Like Bristol to Katowice), as well as bigger destinations.
Identifying these point to point routes has become a specialty of the carrier, and it has been successful in finding small niches that are currently underserved. One such niche that it is exploiting is cheap travel from east to west across the continent. Flights from Spain, France, and England to Hungary and Poland, facilitating locals and tourists alike, has allowed direct travel whilst skipping over the hubs of Germany and the Netherlands.
With more aircraft being delivered every week, their tangled web of routes will continue to expand. Unlike rivals, because Wizz Air is located so far east, they can actually much easier serve developing regions like Ukraine, the Baltics, Greece, and the Middle East.
Its aircraft orders
We would be amiss not to mention the extensive list of aircraft orders in place for Wizz. Just how many does it have on the order book? 269 aircraft. This is more than any other carrier in Europe, including Lufthansa that has 208 aircraft on order.
Specifically is has on order:
- 70 A320neos
- 179 A321neos
- 20 A321XLR
The latter aircraft, the A321XLR, is the world’s longest-range single-aisle aircraft. With this aircraft, Wizz hopes to fly routes to Dubai and London. But routes to India or North America are not out of the question.
József Váradi, Wizz Air’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a press release:
“The inherent aircraft economics of the Airbus A321XLR will widen our competitive advantage for stimulating demand for air travel in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond while minimizing our environmental footprint. The A320neo family aircraft are game-changing aircraft that enhance Wizz Air’s low fare model and undisputed cost leadership in Europe.”
Further challenges await the airline, such as Brexit that might hamper its growth and actions of rivals moving into their territory (such as Ryanair opening a hub in Malta) and it remains to be seen how they overcome them.
What do you think of Wizz Air’s expansion? Let us know in the comments.