Inside Wizz Air’s New Rome Expansion: 32 New Routes

Wizz Air has today, May 13th, announced its next base: Rome Fiumicino. This becomes its 43rd base at which it’ll add 32 new routes along with four A321neos, each of which has 239 seats. Despite serve Fiumicino for years, Wizz Air has barely grown at the airport – until now. Coronavirus has changed that, presumably because of lower charges.

Inside Wizz Air’s New Rome Expansion: 32 New Routes
Wizz Air will base four A321neos at Rome Fiumicino. Photo: Marvin Mutz via Wikimedia.

Wizz Air’s new Rome base opens in July, less than two months away, to capture peak summer demand, especially outbound to key tourist destinations. Speaking at the press conference in Rome, Wizz Air’s Chief Commercial Officer, George Michalopoulos, said:

“I am delighted to announce our newest base in Rome Fiumicino Airport. Wizz Air’s fifth Italian base underpins our commitment to continue to invest in Italy supporting both Italy’s economic recovery as well offering consumers a wide range of affordable destinations at low fares.”

Inside Wizz Air’s New Rome Expansion: 32 New Routes
Wizz Air has added 32 routes from Fiumicino. There is no route overlap with its Rome Ciampino operations. Image: OAG.

32 routes from Rome Fiumicino

The coming routes are summarised below, with all but one beginning in July. Given the need for bilaterals to Turkey, which requires an Italian or Turkish air operator’s certificate, it is surprising that Antalya and Bodrum are to begin. It is believed that it has ‘Italian jurisdiction’ to launch these services.

Combined, the 32 routes have 88 weekly departures, meaning each aircraft will operate about three round-trips per day. At an average of 989 miles, most routes will still be in the less-than-two-hour sweet spot for low-cost carriers.

From Rome Fiumicino to…Weekly departuresStart date
Alexandria2July 18th
Antalya2July 15th
Bodrum2July 18th
Casablanca2July 16th
Constanta2July 2nd
Corfu2July 2nd
Dubrovnik3July 1st
Eindhoven4July 2nd
Faro2July 4th
Fuerteventura2July 15th
Heraklion3July 16th
Hurghada2July 17th
Keflavik3July 16th
Kharkiv2July 18th
Larnaca3July 1st
Liverpool3July 1st
London Luton7July 1st
Marrakesh2November 2nd
Mykonos3July 1st
Nice4July 2nd
Prague4July 2nd
Pristina2July 18th
Santorini3July 1st
Satu Mare2July 17th
Sharm El Sheikh2July 17th
Sofia4July 16th
Split3July 2nd
Tallinn2July 2nd
Tel Aviv3July 16th
Tenerife South2July 3rd
Tirgu Mures3July 1st
Zakynthos3July 15th

14 routes to have head-to-head competition

14 routes will see head-to-head competition in July, particularly Tel Aviv, Mykonos, Santorini, Nice, and Split. Tel Aviv starts on July 16th and will be three-weekly. It’ll compete directly with Alitalia (27 weekly departures), El Al (five), Ryanair (three), and Blue Bird (two). In all, there will be 40 departures that week, down from 51 in the same week in 2019.

Only one route – Luton, Wizz Air’s largest airport – will be served seven-weekly or more. This route, which will arrive back into Rome at 00:55, was previously served by both Monarch (2012-2017) and easyJet (2014-2020).

Inside Wizz Air’s New Rome Expansion: 32 New Routes
Eindhoven, where this photo was taken, will be served four-weekly. Photo: Getty Images

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Rome becomes fifth base in Italy

Wizz Air has developed very significantly in Italy in the past year. It announced its first base, at Milan Malpensa, in May 2020. Now, 12 months, later Rome Fiumicino becomes the fifth and also its second-largest base, as follows.

  1. Milan Malpensa: five based aircraft
  2. Rome Fiumicino: four
  3. Catania: three
  4. Bari: two
  5. Palermo: two

You’d be forgiven for not keeping up with Wizz Air’s rapid expansion, which in the past two weeks has included multiple new routes from across Italy, including Catania and Bari to Abu Dhabi. Both routes start on September 21st; Catania has fares starting from €59.99 one-way.

Inside Wizz Air’s New Rome Expansion: 32 New Routes
The number for 2021 doesn’t include all of these new routes, nor new routes from Catania and Bari. Source: OAG Schedules Analyzer.

24 new airports added to Wizz Air’s network

The Wizz Air Group will add 24 new airports to its system in 2021, as summarized in the following tweet from Sean Moulton. The ULCC’s new Fiumicino base is responsible for adding Antalya, Dubrovnik, and Hurghada. While Wizz Air has served Croatia for years, mainly Split, it has avoided Dubrovnik – which it dropped in 2011 – because of high charges. How things change.