You may have seen their planes but did you know WizzAir is Central Europe’s largest airline? It carried 16.5 million passengers last year, and has just redesigned its livery for its 11th anniversary, showing off the new colours with a striking A320 bound for Warsaw. In total it operates 59 of these planes, serving 112 destinations in 38 countries.
On board was euronews’ very own Beatrix Asboth who was able to ask WizzAir boss Joszef Varadi a coule of questions.
“How did the past year’s strikes and the Germanwings tragedy influence the aviation business? Did it reshuffle the market?”
“These times are very good for air transportation.Oil prices are quite low, interest rates are low.So, we cannot see serious reshuffling. The successfully operating airlines become more efficient, but the less successful ones cannot use their opportunities when the industry as a whole is on a rising track.”
The company employs 2311 people, some 40 nationalities in all, and is a reflection of how EU membership has brought great economic change to the region.
“WizzAir has restructured its presence in Ukraine. Why?”
“The biggest problem in Ukraine is that the Central Bank tightened the rules concerning the exchange of its national currency and the exchange of foreign currency. That means we could not exchange Ukrainian hryvnia for US dollars. Our income came in hryvnia but our expenses are in dollars. We could not cope with this situation, so we had to close our Ukrainian division.”
The Ukrainian setback aside WizzAir is confident about its future expansion plans and fully intends to remain the market leader in central Europe, and show the older airlines a clean pair of wings.