MIAMI – Wizz Air (W6) has recently received 30 new aircraft deliveries during the pandemic to modernize its fleet, CEO József Váradi told the 30th annual ACI Europe congress today.
The airline has also diversified its network, a move that, combined with the fleet upgrade, differentiates W6 from the rest, according to Váradi, adding that “a third of our network is brand-new.” This network expansion includes the opening of 13 new operational bases for a total of 39 over the next few months.
Váradi says that by opening new bases in different geographies, the carrier has moved about 30 aircraft. “With that we have moved staff, showing how much versatility is required.” In Catania, Doncaster, Dortmund, Larnaca, London Gatwick, Milan Malpensa, Oslo, and Tirana, for instance, the ULCC has built new bases and introduced a new AOC: Wizz Air Abu Dhabi.
Running at 80% Capacity
Wizz Air has taken a scattergun approach to its network growth, an allegation that could be leveled at most fast-growing operators, numerous commentators have said according to anna.aero.com. However, during the ACI Europe congress, Váradi said that W6 was the industry’s lowest-cost producer in Europe, so its entry barrier for a new route was the lowest.
“Our new network has done almost the same as the old network, margin-wise.” According to the CEO, in August 2020 W6 gained greatly (when compared to the same month in 2019) from running 80% of its planned capacity.
In addition, Váradi was explicit about the positioning and behavior of W6 during the coronavirus. “Our strategy has been to deal with the issues as they happen on the day, day by day, but to continue to invest in our future.”
For every crisis, there is an opportunity, and that rings true in this case, as the pandemic became an opportunity to place Wizz Air as a much stronger competitor compared with the rest of the industry.
Featured image: Wizz Air’s A321neo HA-LVB rocking out of London Luton Airport. Photo by Miklós Budai – @aviationmike.hu