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Wizz Air is a low-cost carrier based mainly in Budapest but has hubs throughout Eastern Europe, including at airport in Gdansk, Poznan, Katowice, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Prague, Bucharest, Cluj, Kiev, Timisoara and Sofia. Wizz Air Group includes three operating airlines: Wizz Air Hungary, Wizz Air Bugaria and Wizz Air Ukraine. The airline has seen rapid growth since its 2004 inception, and is Central Europe's largest LCC, handling almost 10 million passengers in 2010. Wizz Air operates on over 150 routes across Europe, using predominantly secondary airports, and the carrier 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)
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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61 total articles
The United Arab Emirates’ newest airport, Dubai World Central (DWC), opened its passenger terminal on 27-Oct-2013 and its first commercial passengers. The operator was Wizz Air, the Eastern/Central European LCC, with a flight from Budapest. Wizz Air Group (which includes Wizz Air Ukraine) also launched Bucharest, Sofia and Kiev from DWC as the winter season commenced.
According to Wizz Air CEO József Váradi, Wizz Air expects to handle 250,000 passengers on services to DWC in the first year of operations. Based on the four routes launched this week, this would imply load factors averaging 95%. Although Wizz Air’s 2012 load factor was more than 85%, this seems very ambitious for new routes, even in the hyperbolic world of low-cost airlines. More likely, Wizz Air plans to add frequencies and/or routes through the year.
Either way, it demonstrates the carrier’s confidence in taking the narrowbody LCC model further than most on routes that look to be under-penetrated. Mr Váradi is even talking of adding flights to India from DWC.
Eastern European low-cost carrier group Wizz has unveiled plans to expand its Vilnius base in Lithuania and establish its third Ukrainian base in Lviv. The announcements follow other recent expansion announcements that will see Wizz expand its bases in Bulgaria and Macedonia.
In the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, Wizz Air will expand its fleet of A320s at the airport to three aircraft. The carrier will use the additional aircraft to launch three new routes and increase frequencies on five existing routes.
Meanwhile the group’s Ukrainian subsidiary Wizz Air Ukraine plans to base one A320 at Lviv from 30-Apr-2014. The aircraft will be used to launch five new routes from Lviv, which Wizz Air Ukraine now serves with three routes. The A320 to be based at Lviv Airport will be Wizz Air Ukraine’s fifth aircraft overall.
Wizz Air is pursuing further expansion in the Eastern European market with recently announced plans to grow its Sofia base in 2013 and 2014. The expansion will see the low-cost carrier base a fourth aircraft at the Bulgarian capital and launch two new routes, as well as increase frequencies on four existing routes.
The expansion will focus mainly on Western European destinations, including a new twice weekly flight to Malmo in Sweden. But there will also be a new thrice weekly link from Sofia to Dubai’s new airport.
Wizz's expansion places further pressure on flag carrier Bulgaria Air, which currently accounts for 26% of capacity in its home market.
Wizz Air recently unveiled plans to further expand its presence in the Eastern European market with expansion of its Skopje operations from Apr-2014.
The expansion will see the Hungarian-based LCC base a second aircraft at the Macedonian capital and launch three new routes, as well as increase frequencies on existing routes.
Since entering the market nearly two years ago, Wizz has grown to become the country's largest operator, accounting for more than a third of seats in week beginning 26-Aug-2013.
As flagged by Ryanair in May, its 1QFY2014 net profit fell as a result of higher fuel costs and lower average fares (-4%), the first year-on-year fall in average fares in 14 quarters. With 90% of its FY2014 fuel bill hedged at USD980 per tonne, the key unknown variable for the full year is the development of average fares.
Ryanair says yields on close-in summer bookings have been weak recently, but it expects them to increase in 2Q. Moreover, ancillary revenue growth was strong (+25%) and this should also continue into 2Q. As is usual at this stage of the fiscal year, it made no change to its FY2014 net profit target, which is lower than market consensus forecasts.
Montenegro’s small aviation market has been witness to some interesting developments since the Jun-2013 entry of Ryanair. The Ireland-based carrier is now the sole LCC operating in Montenegro with a single route however it has expressed interest in opening up the market further. Other European LCCs will be watching Ryanair’s movements in the market.
The small Southeastern European nation of just under 14,000km2 has a population of only about 620,000. Montenegro’s 2012 GDP was USD4.231 billion, which has significantly increased since 2000 when it was USD1.707 billion, according to World Bank data. Air traffic to/from the country has increased from just under 700,000 passengers in 2005 to 1.345 million passengers in 2012.
Montenegro Airlines is the national carrier and sole scheduled operator. It currently provides around 41% of total seat capacity to/from Montenegro, according to CAPA and Innovata data. Fourteen foreign full-service carriers currently serve the country, accounting for around 58% of capacity while Ryanair, the only LCC in the market, currently contributes around 1% of seat capacity.
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