Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wizz Air celebrated five years on the market

Last week Wizz Air, the Hungarian low-cost Airline owned by American private equity fund, celebrated its fifth anniversary of entering the Polish market. Although it was established in 2003, it started first scheduled flights on May 19, 2004, 19 days after the European Union accepted ten ne members, thus creating a new market of 70 million potential passengers. In Poland Wizz Air has been operating from Katowice, Warsaw, Gdańsk and Poznań, while its other hubs are located in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Ukraine. In June another hub will be launched in Prague.

As reported by the company, during the last five years Wizz Air has served 18 million passengers, including 15 million Polish passengers, to become the biggest LCC in Poland. Just last year in Warsaw Wizz Air served 900 thousand passengers, what amounted for 9.5 percent of all passenger traffic departing from/arriving in Warsaw.

According to the Polish Civil Aviation Office (ULC), last year it has reached 19.2 percent of general airline market share, trailing LOT Polish Airlines and leaving Ryanair behind (details in chart below). In terms of LCC market share in Poland Wizz Air reached 45 percent. For this year the airline forecasts to serve 7.5 million passengers, 27 percent more than in 2008.

Currently the airline operates 23 Airbus A320 planes, but plans to increase its fleet by additional by 59 more planes by 2014. On May 19 the passengers of Wizz Air were greeted upon check-in by a sweet snack and color luggage tags, while Wizz Air's check-in counters were decorated to mark the anniversary.

Polish aviation market
Airline share in 2007 share in 2008
1. PLL LOT 31.5% 28.0%
2. Wizz Air 16.0% 19.2%
3. Ryanair 13.4% 16.1%
4. Lufhansa 5.2% 6.0%
5. EasyJet 3.0% 5.3%

Source: ULC

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