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- Wizz Air Hungary Airlines Ltd.
BUD International Airport Building 221
- Main hub
- Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport
- Business model
- Low Cost Carrier
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- Part of Wizz Air Group
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Established in May-2004, Wizz Air is a low-cost carrier headquartered in Budapest Airport, with secondary hubs at Gdańsk, Katowice and Belgrade as well as bases in 18 other airports across Europe. Wizz Air operates on over 380 routes across Europe, using predominantly secondary airports, and is continuously looking at opportunities to expand its network of destinations and provide low-cost air transport to and from Central and Eastern Europe.
Location of Wizz Air main hub (Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport)
Wizz Air Holdings Plc share price
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider Wizz Air fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
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Air Serbia's transformation from the loss-making carrier Jat Airways in 2013 to one with the possibility of sustainable levels of profitability took another step forward in 2015, with another positive result. After receiving investment from Etihad and the Serbian government in 2H2013, it had recovered from heavy losses to a small profit in 2014. This was based on an impressive reduction in unit cost, with a realignment of the network and its commercial positioning.
In 2015 Air Serbia again increased its net profit, although this remained slim at only 1% of revenue. Buoyed by its success in establishing a track record of positive results, Air Serbia is growing its European network. Perhaps more significantly, it is also launching its first long haul route, Belgrade-New York, this summer.
Its unit cost is efficient versus legacy airlines and not very much higher than LCCs such as easyJet. It has the good fortune to face only a relatively small amount of competition from LCCs (it only has competition from any other airline on a minority of its routes). However, the ultra-LCC Wizz Air, which has a much lower unit cost than Air Serbia, is its leading LCC competitor and could provide a greater threat over time.
Among airports in Germany's Top 10 by passenger numbers, Berlin Schoenefeld was the fastest-growing in 2015. After declining between 2010 and 2013, its traffic then grew by 27% over two years. In the first three months of 2016 passenger numbers have grown by a further 43% year- on-year.
Berlin Schoenefeld is the smaller of the two airports in the Berlin system, yet its growth vastly outpaces the low single-digit rate of Berlin Tegel. Already an important base for easyJet in Germany, Schoenefeld has experienced recent rapid growth that has been mainly the result of expansion by Ryanair. Wizz Air has also entered Schoenefeld in 2016. Although easyJet's growth is much slower, it has announced that it will increase the number of aircraft based at the airport from nine to 10.
At the same time airberlin, based at neighbouring Tegel, is losing market share in the Berlin airport system. Although Germanwings is gaining share, this is merely substituting for its parent Lufthansa. By the situation at Schoenefeld, Berlin is a good illustration of how LCCs continue to take share from legacy airlines on intra-Europe routes.
Reports that easyJet may be considering a bid for Monarch Airlines could herald a much anticipated wave of consolidation in Europe's LCC segment. The CEOs of both Lufthansa Group and Air France-KLM have indicated that they expect consolidation, while IAG has previously been active in this field, by acquiring Vueling in 2013.
This report compares the market structure of Europe's LCC segment with that of North America and considers the prospects for consolidation among European low cost airlines. As with the broader market, Europe's LCC segment is more fragmented than North America's. However, viewed as a market in its own right, it is more concentrated than the broader European market.
The two leading LCCs, Ryanair and easyJet, have almost half of all intra-Europe LCC seats between them (but Southwest has more than 60% of intra-North America LCC seats on its own). Notwithstanding speculation about easyJet and Monarch, whose Europe seat share is only 2%, any meaningful LCC consolidation in Europe seems more likely to involve second-tier LCCs. This may include the LCC subsidiaries of the legacy groups, although none of the big three appear ready to lead the process currently.
Part one of this report on European airline market structure and consolidation highlighted that the top twenty airline groups in Europe hold 75% of seats. This is the same share as the top six groups in North America. This equivalence, in market share terms, between Europe's top 20 and North America's top six underlines the huge gap in consolidation progress between the two regions' airlines. It would take a large number of merger and acquisition deals to recreate North America's market structure in Europe, consolidating 20 into six.
This second part of the report is a kind of fantasy, a hypothetical. It suggests an illustrative series of combinations among Europe's top 20 that would approximately replicate the market shares, in terms of seat share, held by North America's top six.
This would require large merger and acquisition transactions involving pairings between members of Europe's smaller top six of Lufthansa Group, IAG, Ryanair, Air France-KLM, Turkish Airlines and easyJet. It would also mean several deals involving second-tier FSCs and LCCs. However, for now the larger deals in Europe remain relatively unlikely, and there are even hurdles to the smaller deals.
Airline seat growth from Europe is set to accelerate to 8% this summer, up from 6% in summer 2015, according to the latest schedules data from OAG. This will be the highest summer growth rate in six years. With summer 2016 starting in less than three weeks, the data are now fairly solid (although, of course, they are always subject to further change).
Capacity to Africa will fall and Asia Pacific will experience slowing growth from Europe, but every other region will experience an acceleration this summer. Intra-European seats will grow by 8%, with growth led by LCCs (including the low cost subsidiaries of the big legacy groups).The Middle East will continue to have the highest rate of capacity growth from Europe, but there will also be double-digit growth to Latin America and to North America.
This acceleration of capacity growth on the North Atlantic is partly due to the emergence of new competition, but also seems to be the result of incumbents switching capacity from elsewhere. This should perhaps be a source of some concern to the immunised JVs.
O'Leary: "Ryanair in robust good shape". Europe's highest margin airline despite revenue seasonality
Ryanair is on course to record a positive net income in both of its winter quarters for only the second time in eight years, consolidating last year's achievement. Its 3Q2016 net income more than doubled and it has yet again almost certainly closed calendar 2015 as Europe's most profitable airline by operating margin (even before many airlines report their results).
Since embarking on its programme to improve its product, network and customer service two years ago, Ryanair has achieved impressive results. Load factor has leapt forward, driving up unit revenue, while unit cost has remained under control. Interestingly, however, unit revenue growth has been highest in the already strong summer quarters. Although Ryanair is now achieving year round profitability, the seasonal variation in its revenues is even more pronounced than before.
FY2016 could be Ryanair's most profitable year in eleven years, and it also looks set to become Europe's largest airline group by passenger numbers in the next twelve months. As Michael O'Leary said of the airline that he has led for 22 years, "the business is in robust good shape".