Wizz Air Company History
Wizz Air, legally registered as Wizz Air Hungary Ltd. (Hungarian: Wizz Air Hungary Légiközlekedési Kft.) is a Hungarian ultra-low-cost airline based in Budapest, Hungary. The airline flies to many cities across Europe, as well as some destinations in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.  It has the largest fleet of all Hungarian airlines, although it is not a national airline, and currently serves 44 countries.   Jersey-based parent company Wizz Air Holdings plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is included in the FTSE 250 Index. From 2020, the airline will have its largest bases at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport and London Luton Airport, serving 164 airports.  In November 2019, Wizz Air dismissed concerns about its share of the environmental damage caused by the “flight shame” movement, basing its response on the airline`s level of emissions per passenger. The company said it would reduce per capita emissions by another 30 percent by 2030. Wizz Air also condemned inefficient airlines like Lufthansa, which offered business class and used outdated technology that Wizz Air said causes far more damage to the environment.   The plan to establish Wizz Air was conceived in June 2003 when six individuals with a wide range of air travel expertise and a successful track record joined forces with József Váradi, the company`s President and CEO.
In just three months, Wizz Air was a registered airline ready to fly. Wizz Air has received an order from Airbus for 110 A321neos equipped with new technologies and advanced systems and engines that will further reduce Wizz Air`s cost base and environmental footprint. All new deliveries are equipped with Sharklet Wingtip devices. The airline was founded in September 2003. The main investor is Indigo Partners, a US private equity firm specializing in transport investments. The first flight took place on 19 May 2004 from Katowice International Airport.  The CEO of the airline is József Váradi, former CEO of Malév Hungarian Airlines. The company is registered in Pest County, Hungary.  Wizz Air Holdings Plc (Wizz) is an air transport service provider. The Company`s services include flight reservations, seat reservations, travel information, hotel reservations, car rental reservations, group reservations, online check-in and electronic services. Wizz, through its subsidiaries, provides scheduled passenger services on a fleet of medium-haul and long-haul flights. The fleet includes Airbus A320, A321 and others.
The company offers its services under the Wizz Air brand. Wizz offers its services to clients in Central and Eastern Europe. It is operationally represented in Hungary, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova and the United Kingdom. Wizz Air is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. In May 2022, Wizz Air announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Ministry of Investment to collaborate on potential investment and operating models to boost the country`s tourism industry and increase connectivity.   In the same month, the company announced its intention to establish a subsidiary in Malta called Wizz Air Malta.  In August 2022, it was announced that former Ryanair executive Diarmuid O Conghaile would join the newly formed company as Chief Executive Officer from 1 November 2022.  In January 2018, Wizz Air announced a new base at Vienna Airport in Austria. Three Airbus 320/321s will be based in Vienna and the airline will serve a total of 17 new routes from the Austrian capital.  In August 2021, management announced plans to hire 4,600 new pilots by 2030, and the first part of its plan is expected to train and hire nearly 500 pilots by the end of 2021.  On June 8, 2022, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with European aircraft manufacturer Airbus to develop hydrogen-powered aircraft.  In February 2017, Wizz Air announced a new base at London Luton Airport in the United Kingdom.
 Also in 2017, the company added three new routes to Tel Aviv, Israel; Pristina, Kosovo; and Kutaisi, Georgia, for a total of more than 500 routes.  After a decade of solid growth, it has become the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe. Wizz Air successfully completed an IPO on 25 February 2015 and was listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company is now listed on the LSE under the symbol WIZZ and employs more than 3,000 people. Wizz Air is known for its strong opposition to any activity of its employees in trade unions.   As a result of this treatment of its employees, the company faces numerous charges. One of the first cases was already closed in 2019 by the Romanian Supreme Court with a ruling that Wizz Air had discriminated against its employees.  Other cases in which Wizz Air alleges a similar attitude towards its employees are still pending in Ukraine and other countries.   In October 2020, the Norwegian Prime Minister stated that it would not fly with Wizz Air after the company`s flights resumed in the country.
 Wizz Air stated that it allows its employees to organize meetings.  In June 2022, József Váradi, General Manager of Wizz Air, drew criticism when he stated that employees should go the extra mile to work even in times of fatigue so that the company can avoid cancelling flights.  Wizz Air was founded, as already mentioned, by József János Váradi. The Hungarian businessman was CEO of Malév Airlines from 1999 until 2003, when he left the company. Later that year, Wizz was trained working with five other people with experience in the aviation industry. The newcomer is expected to reduce the national airline`s market share by a third soon. What happened next in Málev is the subject of another story. Our new world-class aircraft is maintained by some of the most prestigious companies such as Lufthansa Technik. In this way, the company achieves a consistently high level of service for travelers. Year-on-year change in passenger traffic of commercial airlines in Europe from 2013 to 2022* In October 2020, Wizz took delivery of an A330-200F FREIGHTER (HA-LHU, formerly Qatar Cargo) and operated it on behalf of the Hungarian government under the name “Hungary Air Cargo”.  In the same month, it announced that its first Scandinavian base would open at Oslo`s Gardermoen Airport in November 2020; the two aircraft stationed there would also operate domestic flights in Norway.  However, ticket sales for domestic flights after June 13, 2021 were subsequently discontinued.
 We believe that people make a difference. Our team – on board and on the ground – share the same passion: passion for aviation. The WIZZ team believes in high ethical standards driven by an excellent team play approach. Our airline employs dedicated employees from different countries in Europe. Thanks to the dedicated, professional and multicultural management team, leadership and motivation are the driving force and a key success factor in the way WIZZ conducts its business. Wizz is currently engaged in significant expansions in Ukraine and Bosnia. Meanwhile, all of them have opened numerous bases in recent years, making Italy Wizz Air`s premier country as it gives Ryanair a run for its money. The two rivals even announced new bases in Venice on the same day. With plans for massive pilot recruitment campaigns underway and a whole armada of new aircraft along the way, we`re sure to hear and see a lot more Wizz in the not-too-distant future.
In February 2012, Wizz Air announced that it would start flights from Debrecen International Airport to London from 18 June 2012.  On September 11, 2012, Wizz Air announced new routes to and from Tel Aviv, Israel.  In November 2017, Wizz Air announced the planned creation of a British division called Wizz Air UK, based in London Luton, primarily to use landing pads acquired when Monarch Airlines went bankrupt that year.  The airline successfully applied to the CAA for an operating licence for an Air Operator Certificate and a Type A Operating Licence. The airline began operations in March 2018 with UK-registered aircraft. Wizz Air UK was due to start handling flights to the UK previously operated by Wizz Air and planned to employ up to 100 people by the end of 2018.  By the end of the year, Wizz had received seven more A320-200s leased from various companies. All early aircraft have now left the fleet, with Wizz striving to maintain a low average age of its aircraft.
And it works very well. The current average of Wizz jets across all airline iterations is currently 5.2 years. The first flight took off from Katowice on 19 May 2004. Today, Wizz Air offers more than 500 routes from 27 bases in the region: Gdansk, Lublin, Poznan, Katowice, Warsaw and Wroclaw in Poland; Budapest and Debrecen in Hungary; Sofia and Varna in Bulgaria; Chisinau, Moldova; Bucharest. Offices Laurus | Kőér Street 2/A | Building B | H-1103 | Budapest, Hungary In May 2022, they announced plans to switch from fossil fuels to hydrogen propulsion within 10 to 15 years as part of a pilot project with Airbus. The need for this continuous transition is due not only to direct environmental and technological considerations, but also to commercial reasons: over time, passengers and investors will increasingly expect airlines to operate in a greener manner.   As is often the case for European low-cost airlines, Wizz Air prefers to operate from smaller or secondary airports in order to reduce costs and charges.