Wizz Air UK today broke ground by beginning flights with its first Airbus A321neo. The narrowbody flew from the United Kingdom’s London Luton Airport to Poland’s Poznań–Ławica Henryk Wieniawsk Airport to get the ball rolling. Simple Flying caught up with Wizz Air UK managing director Owain Jones regarding the launch of the aircraft.
The A321neo that conducted the flight holds registration number G-WUKM. This plane only just arrived at Wizz Air UK’s facilities last Friday. However, it’s already in passenger service.
Jones explains that since the aircraft is so efficient, it shouldn’t waste time sitting on the ground when it can be making savings right away.
Altogether, there are 20% fuel cost savings with the aircraft compared with the A321ceo. Moreover, there will be just under a 50% noise reduction footprint. Wizz highlights that the model’s Pratt and Whitey’s GTF engine has shown to cut down on nitrogen oxide emissions by 50% and fuel burn by 16%. So, the deployment of the A321neo fits in with the company’s goal to maintain one of the lowest carbon emission rates in European aviation.
“We are committed to reducing our footprint by 30% by 2030. Now, there are ways you can do that. You have offset schemes, which have their place, but I think what we really look to is a proper structural solution, and part of that structural solution is upgrading fleets,” Jones told Simple Flying.
“That structural change into the neo is a significant benefit in environmental footprint as well. So, it’s one of those happy marriages where we have an aircraft that is great for business, but also the environment.”
This A321neo will be based at London Luton. However, two more units will join it by the end of May while another will arrive at the carrier’s base at Gatwick. The first flight was to the historic Polish city of Poznań, but the deployment of these aircraft will be spread where the competitive advantage is paramount for Wizz.
The carrier also has plans for the neos to be staged on somewhat longer routes to the likes of Larnaca, Cyprus and Tel Aviv, Israel. Nonetheless, the increase of capacity of the aircraft will enable it to be a great solution on any of the airline’s current routes from the UK once air travel starts to reopen.
Taking on the industry
Altogether, Wizz highlights that these deliveries back its ambitious growth strategy in the UK. Over the last six months, the airline has expanded rapidly across the country, launching new bases at Gatwick and Doncaster Sheffield.
The airline doesn’t look like slowing down these UK expansions after introducing fresh aircraft in the country. Overall, the wider company is looking to attack on all fronts this decade, following expansions across the continents.
What are your thoughts about Wizz Air UK inaugurating flights with the A321neo? Where do you expect to spot the aircraft over the next few years? Let us know what you think of the prospects in the comment section.