Wizz Air Celebrates 20 Years Since First Flight

Wizz Air Celebrates 20 Years Since First Flight
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

Wizz Air has today celebrated a major milestone: 20 years since it’s first commercial flight on May 19, 2004.

The Hungarian low-cost carrier has come a long way in 20 years, transporting hundreds of millions of passengers.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

Rewind 20 Years to the First Wizz Air Flight…

Wizz Air Celebrates 20 Years Since First Flight
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

Wizz Air‘s first flight took place on May 19, 2004, 20 years ago today.

CEO Jozsef Varadi has been responsible for the airline since day one. However, it did come with initial panic.

The day of the first flight, the team was excitedly preparing for the maiden take off scheduled for 6:00am.

At 5:30am, the CEO was still not at the location.

It transpires that he overslept and was waken up abruptly by the Chief Operations Officer at that time.

With much yelling and emotion, he was on board by 5:51am just in time for the take-off.

Speaking to CNN 20 years ago, the anchor gave the following jibe, disregarding the airline:

“Wizz Air is the 57th new airline recently created, who needs you? Come back in a year if you are still around”.

Two decades on, this is what Varadi’s response to that was:

“The rest is history, however Wizz Air carried 400 million passengers in the past 20 years and even I’m still around.”.

Looking to the Next Two Decades…

Wizz Air Celebrates 20 Years Since First Flight
Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

Looking to the future, Wizz Air is not done with their growth plans.

By 2030, the airline plans to have a 500-aircraft fleet, and aims to expand on their coverage of flights.

Across four subsidiaries, the airline now services nearly 200 destinations across 53 different countries.

Varadi gave thanks to his staff over the last two decades, highlighting the strong milestone within this:

“I extend my greatest gratitude to every one of you for your continued support and relentless commitment over the past two decades.”

“Together, we have changed the world and achieved a remarkable success. Thank you! Our eyes are on the next 20 years now.”


Photo Credit: James Field/AviationSource

Over the last 20 years, Wizz Air has contributed to the revolution of low-cost flying across Europe, and more recently the world.

Despite their challenges, the airline has come out strongly on the other side and will seek to expand on that.

All eyes will be on what the next two decades look like for the airline, especially further afield in the Middle East.

But for now, let’s see how the next 20 years performs for the low-cost carrier that started it’s roots in the heart of Hungary.

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By James Field - Editor in Chief 3 Min Read
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