Wizz Air plans to grow MidEast fleet to 100 aircraft, says CEO

In 2019, Wizz Air flew to 151 airports in 44 countries

Low cost carrier Wizz Air plans to grow its grow its Middle East fleet to  100 aircraft after its impending move to Abu Dhabi, according to CEO Joszef Varadi.

Speaking during a virtual session of the Arabian Travel Market, Varadi said that the airline had ambitions expansion plans in the GCC region.

“If you look at what we’ve been able to achieve in the EU, we managed to grow our fleet to 100 aircraft over the last 15 years and we should be able to do the same thing in Abu Dhabi,” he said.

“You should be looking at our platform at our platform, not necessarily just Abu Dhabi,” he added. “We want to serve the UAE and possibly the broader GCC markets.”

In 2019, Wizz Air flew to 151 airports in 44 countries. It has a fleet of 120 Airbus aircraft with an option to buy 20 Airbus A321XLR planes.

Looking to the future, Varadi said he believes that current measures put in place to combat Covid-19 in the air travel sector will be unsustainable.

“While airports and airlines are quiet it is easier to practice social distancing, but not when we start to become busier,” he said.

Additionally, he added that he believes onboard measures such as blocking the middle seat and inflight social distancing will not work.

“There is no scientific evidence to suggest any passengers have contracted the virus while flying,” he said. “In fact, the air filtration onboard aircraft is comparable with an intensive care unit.”

“However, I do support wearing masks, hand sanitizing, disinfecting and reducing the amount of high touch points such as cash payments for onboard catering and inflight magazines,” Varadi added.

Earlier this week, Varadi said that Wizz Air – which previously operated out of Dubai – would be moving to Abu Dhabi and resuming flights in 10 to 14 days.

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