Hungarian Ministerial Commissioner, István Kolber, reportedly announced the sale of Taszár Airport to Ugarde Kereskedelmi, owned by UK and Middle Eastern companies, for EUR3.7 million (Hungary Around the Clock, 23-Nov-2009). Ugarde Kereskedelmi reportedly plans to invest EUR2.6-6.7 million on an environmental clean up, while investing a total EUR100.7 million to upgrade the airport.
Taszár Airport sold for EUR3.7 million
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Wizz Air: fastest growing top 20 European airline group keeps Ryanair at bay on E/C Europe-W Europe
Wizz Air's 2016 growth was the fastest among all of Europe's top 20 airline groups. Its passenger numbers increased by 19% to almost 23 million in calendar 2016, giving it an average growth rate of 22% pa over the past decade.
Although it is only Europe's 13th largest airline group overall and the number four LCC, Wizz Air is the biggest airline on routes between Eastern/Central Europe and Western Europe. Almost all of its routes are in this core market, and Wizz Air has managed to hold on to its number one spot in the face of strong competition from Ryanair, which is also growing rapidly in this market.
Wizz Air's fleet plan to 2024 is aimed at maintaining double digit growth rates, while also lowering unit costs by adding A321s and A321neos to its A320 equipment. Ten years ago Wizz Air carried only three million passengers, but it will almost certainly break into Europe's top 20 in 2017.
Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian, Wizz Air, Pegasus Airlines: Europe's top LCCs' collective margin drops
CAPA's previous analysis of the 3Q2016 results of Europe's big three legacy airline groups highlighted a fall in their collective operating margin, after growth in 1H2016. This report shows that Europe's five leading LCCs, in aggregate, also suffered a fall in profit and margin in the quarter.
Three of the five – Ryanair, Norwegian and Wizz Air – improved their profit margin in the quarter, but easyJet's drop in margin was heavy enough to bring down the collective result. Pegasus' margin also declined.
Nevertheless, the LCC five remain collectively far more profitable than the legacy three. Moreover Europe's two most profitable airlines, Ryanair and Wizz Air, look set to increase their margin lead this year. Even easyJet, which has had a bad year by its standards, achieved a higher margin for calendar 9M2016 than the most profitable of the big three legacy groups, which was IAG.
The divergence of results in the European sector suggest that not all airlines are following the same cycle. However the collective margin decline for the continent's leading LCCs, and its major legacy airline groups, at least gives reason to question whether or not the cyclical upswing may have run its course.