By Vincenzo Claudio Piscopo
Wizz Air Continues to Grow in Europe But Closes Two Bases
Wizz Air is among the fastest-growing European airlines in 2022. It was also recently named Global Environmental Sustainability Airline Group of the Year at the inaugural Centre for Aviation Asia Aviation Summit and Sustainability Expo in Singapore and received the Europe, Middle East and Africa Environmental Sustainability Airline of the Year.
In 2021, CAPA, part of the Aviation Week Network, launched its first sustainability benchmarking report for airlines and airports to assess their carbon emissions. The awards were independently studied by CAPA and Envest Global analysts.
Wizz Air, is one of the most sustainable airlines in Europe, with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions per passenger kilometer, pledging to further reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 25% by 2030 by renewing its fleet, adding new Airbus A321neo aircraft, currently becoming one of the youngest and most efficient fleets in the world, with an average age of five years.
As noted on Wizz Air’s website, the Hungarian airline is the largest operator of Airbus A321neo aircraft in Europe, with 153 aircraft in the Airbus A320 family — including the Airbus A320-200, Airbus A321ceo and Airbus A321neo. Wizz Air plans to reach more than 500 aircraft in its fleet by 2030, relying on the latest generation of Airbus aircraft, which will help the airline meet environmental sustainability goals set by the international community.
A few days ago, the Hungarian low-cost carrier decided to temporarily suspend operations at its base in Chisinau (established in 2016), the capital of Moldova, effective Dec. 1, 2022, following growing concerns about the safety of the country’s airspace due to the war in neighboring Ukraine.
On Oct. 10, the Moldovan defense minister announced that three Russian cruise missiles bound for Ukraine had crossed Moldovan airspace, endangering the country’s infrastructure and, in particular, civilian aircraft flying in its airspace.
Wizz air, therefore, modified its winter 2022-2023 schedule to Chisinau to minimize overall service disruptions in Moldova. However, as soon as there is stability and certainty again, the Hungarian airline said it will reopen the base. Until Nov. 30, Wizz will continue to operate flights from Chisinau to Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czechia, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain, and the U.K.
As of Nov. 3, 2022, another Wizz Air base was closed in Palermo, southern Italy, relocating the two Airbus A321neo aircraft at the airport and bases in Rome Fiumicino and Milan Malpensa. With this expansion, Wizz Air said it will offer its customers “65 routes from Rome Fiumicino and 43 from Milan Malpensa, becoming the third largest airline in Italy.” As a result, the Rome Fiumicino base will grow to 7 aircraft while the Milan base will reach six aircraft.
The allocation of the two aircraft will enable the airline to increase traffic from the capital, opening seven new routes to Barcelona; Gothenburg, Sweden; Malaga, Spain; Paris; Porto, Portugal; Seville, Spain and Valencia, Spain, and increasing frequencies between Rome’s Fiumicino Airport and the cities of Eindhoven, Netherlands; Hurghada, Egypt; Paris; Yerevan, Armenia and Tel Aviv.
The additional aircraft in Milan, on the other hand, will add five new routes to Cardiff, U.K.; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Yerevan; Marsa Alam, Egypt and Riyadh and increase the frequency of routes to the cities of Tel Aviv; Catania, Italy and Athens.
The low-cost carrier will continue to fly to Palermo Airport by providing daily connections between Milan Malpensa Airport and Venice Airport. Routes from Palermo airport to Turin and Bologna airports will cease.