Low-cost airline Wizz Air made the scale of its ambitions clear on Wednesday as it announced an order for 146 new Airbus planes, taking its total outstanding orders with the European aerospace company to 282. It currently has 87 aircraft in its fleet.
The central and eastern Europe-focused airline said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for the purchase of 146 Airbus A320neo family aircraft at the Dubai air show, with deliveries to start in 2022. The bulk of the jets would be delivered in 2025 and 2026, Wizz said, following on from the delivery of the 110 Airbus A321neo aircraft ordered in 2015.
The extra aircraft would be worth over $17.2bn at list prices, “although discounts will be granted by Airbus”, the company said. Because of the size of the order, Wizz has to get shareholder approval for the deal, which chief executive József Váradi described as a “game-changer”. “We are convinced that the Airbus A320neo and A321neo will be game-changer aircraft for Wizz Air, as we continue to grow at an industry-leading rate and expand our market reach across and beyond Europe,” he said.
“The next-step technology aircraft will enable us to continue to lower our operating costs as we drive towards our goal of Wizz Air being the lowest fare and lowest unit cost airline in Europe.”