|Frequent-flyer program||Wizz Privilege Pass|
|Fleet size||137 (including subsidiaries)|
|Parent company||Wizz Air Holdings plc|
|Traded as||LSE: WIZZ|
|Key people||József Váradi (CEO)|
Diederik Pen (COO)
|Revenue||EUR2,761.3 million (2020)|
|Operating income||EUR402.0 million (2020)|
|Net income||EUR281.1 million (2020)|
Wizz Air, legally incorporated as Wizz Air Hungary Ltd. (Hungarian: Wizz Air Hungary Légiközlekedési Kft.) and stylised as W!ZZ Air, is a Hungarian ultra low-cost airline with its head office in Budapest. The airline serves many cities across Europe, as well as some destinations in North Africa and the Middle East. It has the largest fleet of any Hungarian airline, although it is not a flag carrier, and currently serves 44 countries. Its Jersey-based parent company, Wizz Air Holdings plc, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. As of 2020, the airline has its largest bases at Budapest Airport and Luton Airport and flies to 164 airports.
The airline was established in September 2003. The lead investor is Indigo Partners, an American private equity firm specialising in transportation investments. The first flight was made from Katowice International Airport on 19 May 2004. The airline's CEO is József Váradi, former CEO of Malév Hungarian Airlines. The company is registered in Pest County (Hungary).
In November 2017, Wizz Air announced that they were planning to launch a British division called Wizz Air UK. The airline is based at London Luton, mainly to take advantage of a number of take-off and landing slots acquired from Monarch Airlines when the latter entered administration in 2017. The airline applied successfully to the CAA for an AOC and a Type A Operating Licence. The airline launched operations in March 2018 using British registered aircraft. Wizz Air UK will start to take over the flights to the UK that are currently operated by Wizz Air. Wizz Air said that the airline will employ up to 100 staff by the end of 2018.
In November 2018, it was reported that Wizz Air had announced plans to reactivate its Wizz Air Ukraine subsidiary, approximately three years after it was shut down. Under the plan, Wizz Air Ukraine will seek to complete certification in 2019 following the acquisition of twenty A320/321 neo jets. Bases will be developed in Kyiv as well as other cities across the country. By 2025, it aims to have a passenger throughput of 6 million passengers per annum.
By early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had created a case of force majeure in European aviation, gradually forcing airline fleets to land, including the majority of Wizz Air aircraft. Although it was announced in March that no redundancies were planned, one-fifth of the staff was redeemed when it became clear that air travel across the continent was shutting down. In April 2020, based on passenger numbers, Wizz Air became Europe's largest low-cost airline with 78,000 passengers. By mid-June, they had reached 40 percent of their previous year's normal weekly revenue, while the proportion of no-shows fell from 80 percent in April to 30 percent.
In July 2020, the airline announced that it will form a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company. In October 2020 the airline announced that its first Scandinavian base would be opened at Oslo's Gardermoen Airport in November 2020: the two aircraft based there would also undertake domestic flights within Norway.
On 3 February 2021, Wizz Air announced the opening of its second base in Bosnia and Herzegovina, after Tuzla; the airline will open a base at Sarajevo with one Airbus A320. The airline announced nine new destinations from Sarajevo with 21 weekly departures. New destinations from Sarajevo announced were: Basel/Mulhouse, Brussels-Charleroi, Copenhagen, Dortmund, Eindhoven, Gothenburg, London-Luton, Memmingen and Paris-Beauvais.
The current head office can be found in Laurus offices (Laurus Irodaház) Building B, Budapest, since March 2015. Previously, its head office was at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. Wizz Air signed the lease agreement in October 2010 and moved there with 150 employees in June 2011. The airline occupied over 2,000 square metres (22,000 sq ft) of space in an office building refurbished after the airline's arrival. The facility, with open-plan offices, housed about 150 employees. Before the time its head office was at the airport, it was in the Airport Business Park C2 in Vecsés, close to the airport.
As is common with all European low-cost carriers, Wizz Air prefers to use smaller or secondary airports to reduce costs and fees incurred by service usage. It also has a buy-on-board food service called Wizz Café as well as a second service called Wizz Boutique, which is for other items.
Wizz Air started new services between Katowice and London-Gatwick in 2008. In January 2008, flights started from Gdansk to Gothenburg, Bournemouth and Coventry. In summer 2008, Wizz Air restarted summer seasonal services from Katowice and Budapest to Girona, as well as a new weekly service to Girona from Gda?sk. Other summer services from Budapest are Heraklion, Corfu, Burgas and Varna; from Katowice to Crete-Heraklion and Burgas; and Warsaw to Corfu and Burgas. It also restarted its three-times-weekly service from London-Luton to Burgas. On 2 October 2008, Wizz Air announced that a number of its Romanian services would have increased frequency following an order for three Airbus A320 aircraft.
In February 2012, Wizz Air announced that it would start flights from Debrecen International Airport to London, beginning 18 June 2012. On 11 September 2012, Wizz Air announced new routes to and from Tel Aviv, Israel.
On 12 April 2013, Wizz Air announced that it would start flights from Budapest Airport to Baku's Heydar Aliyev International Airport starting from 17 June 2013. On 26 June 2013, Wizz Air announced entry into the Slovakian market, adding one new route from Ko?ice International Airport starting from September 2013.
On 26 June 2015, the airline opened its 19th base at Tuzla International Airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina and deployed one new Airbus A320 aircraft at the airport. With one aircraft stationed at the airport, Wizz Air opened new routes to Memmingen Airport (near Munich) and Sandefjord Airport, Torp (near Oslo), commencing on 26 June 2015, as well as to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport and Stockholm Skavsta Airport, commencing on 28 June 2015.
In February 2016, Wizz Air announced a new base at David the Builder Kutaisi International Airport (serving Kutaisi in Georgia). In October 2016 Wizz Air announced a new base at Chi?in?u International Airport (serving Chi?in?u) in Moldova. In December 2016, Wizz Air announced a new base in Varna, Bulgaria.
In February 2017, Wizz Air announced a new base at London Luton Airport in the United Kingdom. Also in 2017, the company added three new routes, to Tel Aviv, Israel, Pristina in Kosovo, and Kutaisi in Georgia, for a total of over 500 routes.
In January 2018, Wizz Air announced a new base at Vienna International Airport in Austria. Three Airbus 320/321 are planned to be based in Vienna and the company will operate a total of 17 new routes from the Austrian capital.
As of January 2021, the Wizz Air fleet consisted of the following aircraft:
|Airbus A321neo||23||165||239||Deliveries until 2026|
|Airbus A321XLR||—||20||239||Deliveries from 2023 to 2026|
In November 2019, Wizz Air dismissed concerns about the damage the airline may be causing to the environment, raised by the "flightshame" movement. This dismissal was based on the airline's per-passenger emission level. The company said that it would reduce emissions per capita by an additional 30 percent by 2030. At the same time, Wizz Air condemned inefficient airlines - such as Lufthansa - offering business class and using outdated technologies, which cause far more specific environmental damage than Wizz Air.
One year later, in November 2020, among the European airlines, Wizz Air was able to show the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger / kilometre and underlined their commitment to further reducing their environmental footprint. As part of their strategy, all fuel-saving flight phases of take-off and landing are continuously monitored for maximum environmental optimization, which has a significant impact on further continuous reductions in CO2 emissions.
Wizz Air is well known for a strong opposition against any activities of its employees in the trade unions. Because of that approach to its employees the company is facing many accusations. One of the first cases was already closed by The Romanian supreme court in 2019 with a verdict that Wizz Air discriminated against its workers. Other cases blaming Wizz Air for a similar attitude against its employees are still open in Ukraine and other countries. Recently the Norwegian Prime minister has supported the boycott of Wizz Air when the company announced it will start domestic operations over the country. Wizz Air defends itself against these accusations claiming that it permits to organize its employees in so-called People Council.
Laurus Offices | K?ér street 2/A | Building B | H-1103 | Budapest, Hungary