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Wizz Air

Wizz faces challenges as it rapidly expands

Wizz Air’s CCO admits there are practical challenges to taking on 279 planes by 2026.

As Wizz Air expands rapidly, increasing its fleet size from 90 aircraft today to take on as many as 279 planes currently on order for delivery between now and 2026, it sees operations as its biggest challenge in 2018.

The Budapest-based budget carrier has a mix of Airbus A320s and A321s, whose average age is just 4.6 years.

“We have a lot of commercial opportunities, but the biggest challenge for us is on the operational side, because in 17 weeks we are taking delivery of 17 new aircraft,” Chief Commercial Officer George Michalopoulos tells the airline and aerospace news site ATW.

Wizz Air signed a massive order with Airbus in November 2017 for 146 A320neo family aircraft, taking its total for the type on order to 256. It expects the first A321neo delivery next January. Besides having large bases in Budapest, Bucharest and Warsaw, it recently revealed it would expand a new base in Vienna. It is also looking east and recently launched flights to Kazakhstan.

The A321neo is the “ultimate ultra-efficient aircraft” for a low-cost carrier, Michalopoulos said, and the A320 and A321 fleet has opened up many opportunities for the airline.

No geographical limits
“In Western Europe there is a lot of industry consolidation going on, creating opportunities for us,” he said. “We are talking to many airports to expand our network. We are the second-largest foreign carrier operating to Israel and we are the only [European] LCC to Dubai. There are no geographical limits for us.”

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