When it comes to low-cost carriers, fleet commonality is the cornerstone for the airline. This stands true for Wizz Air too, which exclusively flies the Airbus A320 family. However, there are many airlines diversifying their fleets to serve specific markets. Wizz Air doesn’t plan on following this idea, according to CCO George Michalopoulos in an interview this Simple Flying.
Only one for me
Like low-cost airlines worldwide, Wizz Air made its choice between the Airbus A320 family or the Boeing 737 family. However, 18 years later, there is a possibility for the airline to consider other planes for its network, such as regional jets for low-density routes or even turboprops to serve remote markets.
There is precedent for such a move. Indian low-cost airline IndiGo operates a mix of the A320 family and the ATR 72 for regional routes. Ryanair also operates a handful of A320s through one of its acquired subsidiary airlines (however, those will be retired soon in favor of a common 737 fleet).
However, Wizz Air doesn’t expect to go down a similar path. Asked by our Managing Editor Joanna Bailey about the potential for an A220 or Embraer E2 fleet, Wizz CCO CCO George Michalopoulos said,
“I don’t think so, that’s gonna be a straight no. As you said, [this is] the ultra-low-cost bible. As you said, the principles are basic. This is a commodity business, lowest cost wins, the way you achieve the lowest cost is by operating the most efficient single-aisle aircraft, which is A321neo. So I think it’s just as simple as that and that’s why we got this large A321neo order, and that is really what we’re committing to in the future.”
However, this doesn’t mean that Wizz Air won’t take advantage of the growing A320 family offerings. The carrier has already ordered the A321XLR and has big plans for the long-range, single-aisle aircraft. With these planes set to enter service in 2023, it offers Wizz the chance to expand its network far into East Asia without ever breaking from its common fleet.
Indeed, the principle of fleet commonality is at the heart of any successful low-cost airline. First pioneered by American giant Southwest (which operates 737 Boeing 737s currently), the cost savings from only having one type of aircraft can be huge. For airlines that sell tickets at as low as a few dollars, every cent counts, literally.
Wizz has made it clear that the A320 will be the only aircraft family for it in the current market landscape. However, in the airline industry, never say never. If the future presents a profitable opportunity to operate smaller or larger jets, any airline may seize the chance to boost its presence.
What do you think about Wizz Air’s decision to stick to the A320 family? Let us know in the comments!