Wizz Air Carried 3.7m Passengers in November 2022

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

LONDON – Wizz Air handled 3.7 million passengers in November 2022, which is a substantial increase of 70% compared to the same period last year.

The carrier’s load factor was at 88.1%, with the overall passenger number figures specifically at 3,682,516 passengers.

Wizz Air noted the following achievements made in November:

  • Wizz Air has been named Global Environmental Sustainability Airline Group of the Year at the inaugural CAPA (Centre for Aviation) Asia Aviation Summit and Sustainability Expo in Singapore. The CAPA Environmental Sustainability Awards for Excellence recognize airlines and airports that put climate change at the forefront of their business and strive for carbon neutrality.
  • Wizz Air signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with OMV, an oil, gas, and chemicals company headquartered in Vienna, for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supply between 2023 and 2030. The MoU gives Wizz Air the opportunity to purchase up to 185,000 metric tons of SAF from OMV.
  • Wizz Air has announced further expansion at its Larnaca base in Cyprus. The allocation of two more A321NEOs will grow the base to a total of four aircraft. They will operate 32 routes to cities in 18 countries, including Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, and growing frequencies to Athens, London Luton, Prague, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, and Yerevan.
  • Wizz Air continuously operates amongst the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger/km amongst all competitor airlines, with 55.7 grams per passenger/km for the rolling 12 months to 30 November 2022. For the month of November, CO2 emissions were 53.3 grams per passenger/km (16.2% lower compared to the same month last year).

Wizz Air’s Next Focus: Paying out UK Customers…

It can be argued that the next priority for Wizz Air should be paying back the hundreds of claims made by UK passengers.

During an investigation carried out by financial investigator Tony Hetherington which looked into why Wizz Air was not paying out settlements over flight delays and cancellations, it was uncovered that they were not paying outstanding compensation payments to travelers, even after courts ruled them to do so.

The carrier’s reason for ignoring these four hundred country court judgments is that it does not deem itself as having a legal presence in the United Kingdom. 

When one disgruntled customer did not receive monies declared by a court as payable to them by Wizz Air UK after a settlement of £1542 granted in their favor, bailiffs were sent around in a bid to collect the outstanding debt.

The reply the officers got upon trying to retrieve the settlement was, “Wizz Air has no staff, offices, or assets in London Luton Airport.”

There are currently 401 outstanding payments due to travelers that Wizz Air UK Limited is still yet to pay out.

This should highlight to people that may already have flights booked with the airline or serve as a reason to think twice if you are planning to book flights with the Budapest-based carrier in the future. 

Let’s work off what we do know – Wizz Air bases itself out of London Luton Airport (Registration number: 10982241) and has an operating license assigned to it by the Civil Aviation Authority (#2449). This means Wizz Air UK is able to operate within the European Economic Area.

It has 17 Airbus single-aisle aircraft assigned to the subsidiary to support its operations here. 

SOURCE: UK Government website – Company registrations

AviationSource has written frequently this year about how well Wizz has been doing in a post-pandemic world. They boast one of the youngest, most efficient fleets of aircraft in Europe and have seen numerous new routes launched over the course of this year, helping to boost flight capacities and incoming revenues. 

Despite all this recent positive publicity, a look further into Wizz Air’s financials shows that as of March this year, they had 1.04 billion euros of debt. This is a nearly 889 million euro increase compared to the same time twelve months ago(!)

That doesn’t paint the whole picture, as it is cash rich to the tune of 1.22 billion euros, putting them €180 million in the black. Its outstanding liabilities do, however, total 3.72 billion euros, which could be a potential cause for concern over the long term if we were to see another worldwide incident such as the Covid pandemic. 

With Wizz Air UK failing to comment on these claims, apart from exonerating itself from its status in the United Kingdom, it is unknown how this saga will pan out. Ignorance is not the way to deal with customers you have left out of pocket due to operational changes or failure. 

I think that unless we see some positive action from the carrier in the form of settlement of the 400 plus outstanding compensation claims, then we may well be writing more articles about the demise of Wizz Air in the UK. That, however, is left up to you to make that decision when booking your next trip.

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