With Wizz Air having finalized its latest order for the Airbus A321neo aircraft, AeroTime takes a look at the airline’s current backlog and details of where the company has deployed its newly delivered jets.
The new order was announced on August 2, 2023, with the Hungarian low-cost carrier commissioning 75 Airbus A321neo aircraft, which increases its total A321neo backlog to 434 aircraft. The airline’s total A320 family order book, including the ceo and neo as well as already-delivered units, now stands at 565 aircraft.
“With today’s announcement, Wizz Air further reinforces its position as the largest A321neo Family operator in Europe and the Middle East,” said József Váradi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Wizz Air. “The A321neo’s unparalleled economic efficiency and remarkably low carbon footprint underpin our commitment to provide affordable and sustainable travel options for our customers,” Váradi continued, adding that now, Wizz Air has “one of the largest outstanding order books in the world of more than 350 neo aircraft”.
Currently, Wizz Air has 191 active and stored/in maintenance aircraft, ranging from the A320ceo, A321ceo, A320neo to A321neo, including two aircraft that were wet leased from Titan Airways and SmartLynx. The aircraft are registered under four different Air Operator’s Certificates (AOC) in Hungary, Malta, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Between January 1 and August 1, 2023, the airline took delivery of 19 aircraft. All were delivered to Wizz Air’s Maltese subsidiary, with eight of them being operated for Wizz Air’s Hungarian AOC, according to ch-aviation.com data.
During the same period, Airbus delivered its first A321neo to be assembled at its Tianjin, China, Final Assembly Line (FAL) to a non-Chinese operator, namely Wizz Air. The aircraft, registered as 9H-WDR, arrived at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD) on June 28, 2023, entering commercial service the following day.
Wizz Air’s UK and UAE subsidiaries last took delivery of a new aircraft in May 2022 and December 2022, respectively, according to ch-aviation.com data.
Engine inspections taking out aircraft
However, as part of the airline’s Q1 FY24 results release, Wizz Air revealed that 12 Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines had been identified for inspections by the end of Q2 FY24, the financial period that ends on September 30, 2023.
The CEO said that the company has “limited information as to the scope of engine inspections in H2 and [we want to] highlight that our guidance of +30 percent higher ASK vs last year remains subject to further communication from OEM on this matter”.
Still, Váradi said that the summer season has been going well, with Wizz Air making “significant progress against our main objectives of reinstating best in class profitability at the back of delivering high-capacity growth and improving operational metrics during the quarter”.
“We have continued our fleet allocation program and have announced further expansion in Poland, Italy, UK, North Macedonia, Georgia and Albania,” the executive added. “At Abu Dhabi airport, Wizz Air is already the second largest airline in terms of seats. Its fleet is growing to 10 aircraft by the end of this summer.”
By the end of FY24, which ends on March 31, 2024, Wizz Air plans to take delivery of 32 Airbus A321neo aircraft.
The airline ended Q1 FY24 with a profit of €61.1 million ($66.7 million) on the back of €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) in revenues. In total, it carried 15.2 million passengers during the quarter.
“We continue to observe positive trading in the second quarter with RASK trending higher year-on-year on the back of low double digit percentage increased ticket revenue and a higher load factor, compared to the same period last year, expected to build up to 94 per cent,” Váradi concluded.