As we all know that last year was a year full of challenges for Wizz Air. Not everything went they way the Hungarian low-cost airline planned and wanted. However, this year will be different, promises Wizz Air. But what were the main problems and how are they planning to fix them?
Wizz Air’s press conference on 11 May started with the following statement: “Last year was a challenging year”. They explained that this was mainly due to capacity problems in air traffic control across Europe. This basically generated the problems, and also doubled the time to get parts, Telex reports.
However, Wizz Air’s market has grown over the past year. 2022 was the first summer without restrictions since the pandemic, so they have expanded. This year, they have 181 planes available, up from 119 last year. The airline is aiming for 200 by the end of the year. The renewal of the fleet is also reflected in the purchase by British Airways of three 10-year-old aircraft from Wizz’s previous fleet.
The company’s communications manager, András Radó, said that before the pandemic, their flights were averaging 98 percent load factor. Now, it’s 80 percent, but it’s steadily increasing summer is approaching. They do not depart with half-empty planes: not only for economic reasons but also for environmental reasons. Rather, they prefer to reduce ticket prices.
But what about delays and cancellations?
Most news about Wizz Air recently have been about these problems. They said they they’ve learned the lessons. They know what they need to improve, especially in terms of communication and the way the website works, and they’re working on that. According to their own data, they have completed 99.8 percent of their flights this year.
Strikes are ongoing in Central Europe, they recall. France in particular facing a critical situation and wage negotiations are underway in Germany. Many air traffic controllers have resigned during and after the pandemic. Replacing them is not easy, Wizz Air laments, as it takes 2-3 years to train such professionals. This is often the reason for airline delays.
Here’s an advice from Wizz: if you have both morning and afternoon flights to your destination, it’s worth choosing the morning one. Also, if you’re travelling on time for an event, you should consider leaving a day earlier.
In recent high-profile incidents, such as Madeira, Wizz Air admitted that it had miscommunicated. Complaints often include a lack of passenger information, which the airline says is 90 percent from passengers who have bought their tickets from an online ticketing site rather than directly from them. The airline’s messages then reach these intermediaries, who do not always pass them on to the passengers.
It’s not going to be an easy summer: this is a phrase repeatedly uttered by Wizz Air communication staff during the press conference. They said they were preparing for the hot season with an outlay of around EUR 100 million. They would improve passenger communications, have five spare planes in case a flight is needed and have increased their call-centre team.