Simple Flying is delighted to invite you to participate in the next webinar in our series. This event will take place online on July 15th at 11:00 BST and will feature George Michalopoulos, Chief Commercial Officer of Wizz Air, in conversation with Joanna Bailey, Managing Editor of Simple Flying.
Our webinar is free for all to attend, but spaces are limited. Register here to secure your place.
Hundreds of new routes, dozens of new bases, a new subsidiary and a bullish attitude to the challenges of 2020 – we could only be talking about Wizz Air. Ambitious and bold, with a laser focus on expansion, this airline has gone where others feared to tread.
In the worst financial year in the history of aviation, Wizz bucked the trend, increasing its operating bases from 25 to 43, an uptick of more than 70%. While competitors turned away new aircraft deliveries amid the downturn, Wizz maintained its fleet renewal, adding a net of 16 aircraft across the year.
And it wasn’t just new aircraft that joined the group. January 2021 saw the airline’s long-anticipated Abu Dhabi subsidiary take flight for the first time. From the modest four flights that took place in January, the subsidiary has an impressive 250 scheduled in July, adding almost 100 million available seat miles out of its Abu Dhabi hub.
Here in the UK, Wizz Air UK has been making its presence felt. The subsidiary moved into Cardiff, its fourth UK base, took its first A321neo and launched domestic services for the summer. Italy, too, has seen a lot of Wizz love, with 80% capacity growth and six additional bases created since its first was established in spring 2020.
But not every venture has been a resounding success. The domestic Norwegian market was abandoned just as quickly as it launched, and the ever-changing travel restrictions continue to hamper its profitability.
With passenger traffic down 74% and revenues about the same, Wizz has had to keep a firm eye on its costs. Its success in this field is evident as, despite finishing the financial year with a loss of almost 500 million euros, its available cash actually grew by around 8%.
As vaccines roll out and borders begin to reopen, Wizz is hoping for a meaningful summer recovery. Join me as I uncover the strategies driving this bold airline and welcome the Group chief commercial officer, George Michalopoulos, to our webinar today.