Wizz Air

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Wizz Air
Wizz Air logo.svg
IATA
W6
ICAO
WZZ
Callsign
WIZZ AIR
Founded September 2003
Commenced operations 19 May 2004
Operating bases
Alliance ELFAA
Subsidiaries Wizz Air Ukraine
Fleet size 55
Destinations 97
Company slogan Now we can all fly.
Parent company Indigo Partners[2]
Headquarters Budapest, Hungary
Key people
  • József Váradi, CEO
  • Diederik Pen, COO
Website wizzair.com

Wizz Air Hungary Airlines Limited (Hungarian: Wizz Air Hungary Légiközlekedési Kft.) is a Hungarian[3] low-cost airline with its head office on the property of Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest. The airline typically uses secondary airports serving many cities across Europe, and Egypt, Israel, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.[4] It has the largest fleet of any Hungarian airline, although it is not a flag carrier, and currently serves 35 countries.[4][5]

History[edit]

The airline was established in September 2003. The lead investor is Indigo Partners, an American private equity firm[6] specialising in transportation investments. The first flight was made from Katowice on 19 May 2004, 19 days after Poland and Hungary entered the European Union and the single European aviation market. The airline carried 250,000 passengers in its first three and a half months, and almost 1.4 million passengers in the first year of operations. In 2007, Wizz Air carried 2.9 million passengers on its Polish routes.

The airline's CEO and chairman is József Váradi, former CEO of Malév Hungarian Airlines. The company is registered in Pest County (Hungary)[7] with operating subsidiaries in Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria. Wizz Air Bulgaria was established in September 2005.[8] Váradi won the Ernst & Young award of the 'Brave Innovator' in 2007.

In 2011, Wizz Air carried 11 million passengers (15% more than in 2010), including 4.2 million passengers on Polish routes (only 2% more than in 2010). Recently Wizz opened new bases in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. However, Poland is still the largest market for Wizz Air.[9]

On 4 October 2012, Wizz Air launched a new cabin bag policy to encourage customers to bring smaller baggage on-board following a successful month-long trial on the London Luton and Katowice route. This means that a smaller (42x32x25cm) cabin bag can be taken on board for free; larger cabin bags (56x45x25cm) would incur a fee varying between €10 or €30.[10]

In 2014, Wizz Air carried 15,8 million passengers (17% more than in 2013).[11]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Cabin of a Wizz Air Airbus A320-200

Operations[edit]

Wizz Air prefers to land at smaller or secondary airports to reduce costs and fees. The airline also has a buy on board service called Wizz Café and a shopping service called Wizz Boutique.[12]

Head office[edit]

Wizz Air has its Headquarters in Building 221 of Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest.[13] Wizz Air signed the lease agreement in October 2010 and moved there in June 2011. The airline occupies 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, houses about 150 employees.[14] Previously, its head office was in the Airport Business Park C2 in Vecsés, close to the airport.[15]

Financial performance[edit]

While attempting to hasten SkyEurope's demise in June 2009, Wizz Air claimed it had been "profitable for several years".[16] However, as a private company it is not required to publish its financial accounts - annual reports are still available.[17] In November 2009, it emerged that Wizz Air was significantly loss-making and had never made a profit while delaying the pay-back of €32 million of debt by five years.[18] Losses since commencing operations total €78 million, which, in 2009, fueled suggestions that the airline would file for bankruptcy.[19] Since then Wizz Air reported record profits in 2012,[20] profits in 2013 and record profits in 2014.[21] Wizz Air has the second lowest CASK (cost per available seat km) among European airlines.[21]

According to the Hungarian weekly magazine Figyelő, Wizz Air ranks as the 42nd company in Hungary in revenues in 2010. Wizz Air posted sales of HUF165 billion in 2010, which was an increase of 22% compared to the previous year.[22]

On 25 February 2015 Wizz Air started trading on London Stock Exchange.[23]

Criticism[edit]

  • Calls to the customer service department cost 0.95 EUR per minute, according to Wizz Air's homepage.[24] Controversially, Wizz Air maintains that it takes up to 30 days to process customer complaint emails.[24]
  • In 2009, the company initiated an official complaint to the World Intellectual Property Organization against a registered domain name on the grounds, among others, that the addition of the suffix "sucks" to the respondent's domain name was a negative term used to indicate criticism.[25] It was the opinion of the panel that "...in respect of genuine and non-commercial criticism of the complainant does not amount to bad faith registration and use." The final judgment resulted in the complaint being denied and the panel declined to order the transfer of the disputed domain name.

Destinations[edit]

Main article: Wizz Air destinations
Wizz Air destinations as of 2012

Wizz Air operates from 20 bases as of March 2015, the latest addition to them being Tuzla Airport.

Wizz Air started new services between Katowice and London Gatwick in 2008.[26] In January 2008, flights started from Gdansk to Gothenburg, Bournemouth and Coventry. In summer 2008, Wizz Air restarted the summer only services from Katowice and Budapest to Girona, as well as a new weekly service to Girona from Gdańsk. Other summer services from Budapest are Heraklion, Corfu, Burgas and Varna, from Katowice to Crete-Heraklion and Burgas, Warsaw to Corfu and Burgas. They also restarted the three-times weekly service from London Luton to Burgas. On 2 October 2008, Wizz Air announced that a number of its Romania services would have increased frequency following an order for three Airbus A320 aircraft.[27] Services began 15 February 2009 from Timișoara, on 1 March 2009 from Bucharest, and 1 May 2009 from Cluj-Napoca.

In February 2012, Wizz Air announced that it would start flights from Debrecen International Airport to London, beginning 18 June 2012.[28] On 11 September 2012, Wizz Air announced new routes to and from Tel Aviv, Israel.[29]

On 11 April 2013 Wizz air announced that it would start flights from Budapest Airport to Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport starting from 17 June 2013.[30] It will become the furthest of Wizz Air's destinations. The airline will push further again from late October 2013 when it is set to become one of the first airlines to operate from Dubai World Central Airport. On 13 June 2013, Wizz Air announced entry on the Moldovan market adding two new routes from Chişinău International Airport starting from September 2013. On 26 June 2013, Wizz Air announced entry on the Slovakian market adding one new route from Košice International Airport starting from September 2013.[31]

Fleet[edit]

Wizz Air Airbus A320-200

As of April 2015, the Wizz Air fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average fleet age of 3.7 years:[32]

Wizz Air Fleet
Aircraft In fleet Orders Passengers Notes
Airbus A320-200 55 9 180
Airbus A321-200 26 220 Deliveries from 2015
Total
55
35

Subsidiaries[edit]

As of April 2015, Wizz Air had created sub-divisions in three countries in the past, of which none still exist:

  • Wizz Air Bulgaria[35] was Wizz Air's Bulgarian subsidiary based at Sofia Airport. It since ceased operations.[35] However, Wizz Air itself still maintains base operations there.

Incidents[edit]

  • On 8 June 2013, Wizz Air Flight 3141, an Airbus A320-232 (registration HA-LWM) from Bucharest - Henri Coandă Airport, Romania to Rome-Ciampino, Italy, made an emergency landing[37] at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport when the crew encountered problems getting the one of the main undercarriage down and locked. The aircraft diverted to Fiumicino because of the longer runway, and firefighters applied foam to aircraft and runway after landing as a precautionary measure. The aircraft was evacuated using slides.[38] Initial reports of injured passengers were denied by both Wizz Air and Rome Fiumicino Airport, who said some passengers requested medical checkups but reported no injuries.[39] The aircraft returned to service on 28 August 2013.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://wizzair.com/en-GB/about_us/news/wizzen306
  2. ^ http://centreforaviation.com/profiles/suppliers/indigo-partners
  3. ^ "Hungarian Wizz Air Opens Fifth Hub in Poland". Business Week. Retrieved 2008-03-20. 
  4. ^ a b http://wizzair.com/en-GB/Map
  5. ^ http://wizzair.com/en-GB/about_us/news
  6. ^ "Ryanair meets Wizz Air: does a merger make sense?". 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  7. ^ "Company information (official registration number 13-09-096209)". Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  8. ^ Airliner World, January 2007.
  9. ^ "Wizz Air: 15% wzrost, w Polsce tylko 2%". Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  10. ^ "[1]"
  11. ^ "A WIZZ AIR 15,8 MILLIÓ UTAST SZÁLLÍTOTT 2014-BEN 17%-OS NÖVEKEDÉSSEL". Retrieved 2015-04-20. 
  12. ^ "Wizz Café and Wizz Boutique." Wizz Air. Retrieved on 3 February 2012.
  13. ^ "Company overview." Wizz Air. Retrieved on 11 December 2011. "Wizz Air Hungary Airlines Ltd. BUD International Airport Building 221 H-1185 Budapest"
  14. ^ "Property development." (Archive, also see image) Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport. Retrieved on 11 December 2011.
  15. ^ "Company information". Retrieved 25 October 2009.  "Wizz Air Hungary Airlines Ltd. Airport Business Park C2, Lőrinci út 59 2220 Vecsés, Hungary"
  16. ^ "While SkyEurope is sinking, Wizz Air is stretching wings". 29 June 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  17. ^ http://e-beszamolo.kim.gov.hu/kereses-Default.aspx
  18. ^ "Maďarský Wizz Air skončil v desaťmiliónovej strate". 2009-11-26. 
  19. ^ "WizzAir suffers €9.5 million in losses". 27 November 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  20. ^ "Why Europe's second lowest cost producer may be looking for fresh capital". 3 April 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  21. ^ a b "CAPA Profiles Wizz Air: growing at 15% annually, one of Europe's most profitable airlines "not desperate" for IPO". 19 September 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  22. ^ "Wizz Air among the 50 largest companies in Hungary". Portfolio.hu. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  23. ^ "LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE TODAY WELCOMED WIZZ AIR HOLDINGS PLC". 25 February 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  24. ^ a b "Wizz Air". Wizz Air. Retrieved 8 April 2009. 
  25. ^ WIPO, Case No. D2009-1105, Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  26. ^ "Wizz Air launches London Gatwick – Katowice flight". 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  27. ^ "Wizz Air adds three new A320 aircraft and doubles capacity in Romania – 15 new routes in the next six months". 
  28. ^ "Wizz Air begins flights between Debrecen and London from 18 June 2012". 
  29. ^ "Wizz Air Launches Low Fares to/from Israel". 
  30. ^ WizzAir enters Azerbaijan
  31. ^ http://www.airportkosice.sk/en/news/347
  32. ^ Wizz Air Fleet
  33. ^ http://wizzair.com/en-GB/about_us/news/wizen190
  34. ^ https://wizzair.com/en-GB/about_us/news/wizzen303
  35. ^ a b http://ch-aviation.com/portal/airline/WZB
  36. ^ a b http://ch-aviation.com/portal/airline/WZR
  37. ^ http://www.planecrashes.org/wizzair-w6-3141-bucharest-rome-emergency-landing.html
  38. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-08/wizz-air-flight-makes-emergency-landing-in-rome-amid-plane-fault.html
  39. ^ http://news.yahoo.com/wizz-air-jet-makes-safe-175301780.html

External links[edit]

Media related to Wizz Air at Wikimedia Commons