Wizz Air

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Wizz Air Hungary Ltd.
Wizz Air logo 2015.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
FoundedSeptember 2003
Operating bases
Frequent-flyer programWizz Privilege Pass
Fleet size146 (including subsidiaries)
Parent companyWizz Air Holdings plc
Traded asLSEWIZZ
HeadquartersBudapest, Hungary
Key peopleJózsef Váradi (CEO)
Diederik Pen (COO)
RevenueIncrease €2.761 billion (2020)[2]
Operating incomeIncrease €402.0 million (2020)[2]
Net incomeIncrease €281.1 million (2020)[2]
Websitewizzair.com Edit this at Wikidata

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 carrier 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.[3] It has the largest fleet of any Hungarian airline, although it is not a flag carrier, and currently serves 44 countries.[3][4] 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.[5]


Founding, developing, soaring[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 International Airport on 19 May 2004.[7] The airline's CEO is József Váradi, former CEO of Malév Hungarian Airlines. The company is registered in Pest County (Hungary).[8]

On 25 February 2015, Wizz Air shares started to be traded on the London Stock Exchange.[9]

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 when Monarch Airlines entered administration in 2017.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12]

Pandemic and survival[edit]

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.[13] 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.[14] In April 2020, based on passenger numbers, Wizz Air became Europe's largest low-cost airline with 78,000 passengers.[15] 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.[16] In July 2020, the airline announced that it will form a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company.[17]

IIn October 2020 Wizz took delivery of an A330-200F freight aircraft (HA-LHU formally Qatar Cargo) which it operates on behalf of the Hungarian Government as 'Hungary Air Cargo'.[18] In the same month 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.[19] However, ticket sales for domestic flights after 13 June 2021 were subsequently stopped.[20]

In 2020, Wizz Air carried a total of 16.6 million passengers, 42 per cent of the 40 million passengers of the previous year.[21] At the same time, they also tried to see the pandemic as an opportunity, opening 260 new routes and 13 bases, one of them at London's second largest airport, Gatwick.[22]

In the spring of 2021, as the third wave of the coronavirus epidemic arrived, the airline's CEO pitched Wizz Air to investors as a "rare ray of investment hope". He said that he hoped that air transport would be restored by 2024-2025, and that he was confident that Wizz Air would be the only airline to continue its investments, made possible by the fact that it had the highest liquidity in the entire airline industry.[23]

Wizz Air has prioritised fleet development and airport construction in its investments, with the opening of Brasov airport planned for March 2021.[24]

Epidemic in decline[edit]

On 3 February 2021, Wizz Air announced the opening of its second base in Bosnia and Herzegovina, after Tuzla; the airline would open a base at Sarajevo with one Airbus A320. The airline announced nine new destinations from Sarajevo with 21 weekly departures.[25]

In April 2021, as planned, Wizz Air added Abu Dhabi to its services, offering connections to Europe beyond the UAE to neighbouring Arab countries.[26]

By July 2021, Wizz Air had reached their 2019 capacity.[27] Their plan was to develop their fleet of 140 aircraft to a capacity of 500 by the end of the decade.[28]

In August 2021, company management announced that they plan to hire 4,600 new pilots by 2030, with the first part of their plan to train and hire nearly 500 pilots by the end of 2021.[29]

In September 2021, rival low-cost carrier easyJet claimed it had rejected a takeover offer from Wizz Air.[30]

Corporate affairs[edit]

Laurus Offices Building B, the head office of Wizz Air
Cabin of a Wizz Air Airbus A320-200
Wizz Air Airbus A320-200 wearing the company's former livery
Wizz Air Airbus A320-200 wearing the company's new livery

Head office[edit]

The current head office can be found in Laurus offices (Laurus Irodaház) Building B, Budapest,[31] since March 2015.[32] Previously, its head office was at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport.[33][34] 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.[33] Before the time its head office was at the airport, it was in the Airport Business Park C2 in Vecsés, close to the airport.[35]


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.[36]


Current subsidiaries
  • Wizz Air Abu Dhabi was founded on 12 December 2019 as Wizz Air's UAE subsidiary. The airline is a joint venture with state-owned Abu Dhabi Development Holding, ADDH, which owns 51 per cent.[37] Flights are operated from Abu Dhabi International Airport to destinations in Europe, Asia and Africa.[38]
  • Wizz Air UK[39] was founded on 18 October 2017 as Wizz Air's UK unit, following CAA approval the subsidiary commenced operations with 10 registered aircraft initially. The unit is currently operating flights from and to Luton on behalf of its Hungarian parent and has been set up to ensure Wizz Air retains full market access to the United Kingdom following Brexit.[39]
Former subsidiaries


Wizz Air started new services between Katowice and London–Gatwick in 2008.[46] 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 Gdańsk. 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.[47]

In February 2012, Wizz Air announced that it would start flights from Debrecen International Airport to London, beginning 18 June 2012.[48] On 11 September 2012, Wizz Air announced new routes to and from Tel Aviv, Israel.[49]

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.[50] On 26 June 2013, Wizz Air announced entry into the Slovakian market, adding one new route from Košice International Airport starting from September 2013.[51]

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.[52]

In February 2016, Wizz Air announced a new base at David the Builder Kutaisi International Airport (serving Kutaisi in Georgia).[53] In October 2016 Wizz Air announced a new base at Chișinău International Airport (serving Chișinău) in Moldova.[54] In December 2016, Wizz Air announced a new base in Varna, Bulgaria.[55]

In February 2017, Wizz Air announced a new base at London Luton Airport in the United Kingdom.[56] Also in 2017, the company added three new routes, to Tel Aviv, Israel; Pristina, Kosovo; and Kutaisi, Georgia, for a total of over 500 routes.[4]

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.[57]

In November 2018, the airline announced it would open a base at Kraków John Paul II International Airport in Poland, starting with 12 routes.[58]

In May 2021, Wizz Air announced the termination of all its domestic routes in Norway, which had been operating for less than a year.[59]


Wizz Air Cargo A330-200F

As of June 2021, the Wizz Air fleet consisted of the following aircraft:[60]

Wizz Air fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
Airbus A320-200 62 180
Airbus A320neo 6 59 186[61]
Airbus A321-200 41 230
Airbus A321neo 36 152 239[62] Deliveries until 2026
Airbus A321XLR 20[63] 239[64] Deliveries from 2023 to 2026[64]
Wizz Air cargo fleet
Airbus A330-200F 1
Total 146 231

Environmental protection[edit]

In November 2019, Wizz Air dismissed concerns about the damage the airline may be causing to the environment, raised by the "flight shame" 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.[65][66]

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.[67]


  • 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[68] at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport when the crew encountered problems lowering one of the main undercarriages and locking it into position. The aircraft diverted to Fiumicino because of the longer runway, and firefighters applied foam after landing as a precautionary measure. The aircraft was evacuated using slides.[69] 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.[70]


Wizz Air is well known for a strong opposition to any activities of its employees in trade unions.[71][72] 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.[73] Other cases blaming Wizz Air for a similar attitude against its employees are still open in Ukraine and other countries.[74][75] In October 2020 the Prime Minister of Norway stated she would not fly with Wizz Air after the company resumed its flights in the country.[76] Wizz Air claimed to allow its employees to be organized in assemblies.[77]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]