Wizz Air celebrates 20 years of budget-friendly flights

Wizz Air

Wizz Air, the Hungarian low-cost airline, marks its 20th anniversary this year, celebrating two decades of revolutionizing affordable air travel across Europe and beyond.

Since its inaugural flight from Katowice in Poland to London Luton in the United Kingdom on May 19, 2004, WizzAir has expanded its reach from a single plane to a fleet of over 200 aircraft, serving more than 130 destinations in 44 countries.

Founded by József Váradi and six other entrepreneurs, Wizz Air aimed to tap into the burgeoning market for low-cost airlines in Central and Eastern Europe. With its headquarters in Budapest, the airline quickly established itself by offering budget-friendly fares and a no-frills service model. This approach resonated with a growing segment of travelers seeking cost-effective options.

In its early years, Wizz Air capitalized on the European Union’s Open Skies agreement, facilitating easier access to markets across Europe. This policy change allowed Wizz Air to expand rapidly, establishing bases in key cities such as Warsaw, Katowice, and Bucharest.

By 2008, the airline had flown over 10 million passengers. In 2015, WizzAir went public on the London Stock Exchange, bolstering its financial foundation and enabling further expansion. In 2019, WizzAir celebrated 200 million passengers carried.

In an exclusive interview with AeroTime, the architect of Wizz Air’s successful formula, its CEO József Váradi, presented ambitious plans to increase its fleet to 500 aircraft and reach 170 million annual passengers before the end of this decade.

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