Wizz Air in Pole position at Katowice

Image: Wizz air

Katowice Airport (KTW) in Poland became Wizz Air’s launch base in May 2004 and since then it has continued to be the Hungarian-based airline’s biggest base. This summer, four A320s will be stationed there operating to 23 destinations. This summer, eight new destinations have so far been added.

Destination Code Frequency Start date
Belfast BFS 3 per week 28 May 07
Bourgas BOJ 1 per week 02 June 07
Bournemouth BOH 3 per week 07 July 07
Coventry CVT 3 per week 13 July 07
Eindhoven EIN 3 per week 29 May 07
Heraklion HER 1 per week 02 June 07
London Stansted STN 6 per week 28 May 07
Malmö MMX 3 per week 07 July 07

Of the 23 new weekly departures, 15 are spread across four UK destinations, providing further evidence of the huge demand being created by Polish workers migrating to the UK. Further services to Glasgow Prestwick (two per week from 3 September) and Brussels Charleroi (three per week from 2 October) begin later this year. The new London Stansted service complements the existing double-daily service to London Luton.

Wizz keeps its A320s very busy at KTW

An exclusive anna.aero analysis of the airline’s summer schedule shows that four aircraft are heavily utilised in operating services.

Table: Wizz Air at Katowice

All four aircraft depart every day by 06:00 and often return well after midnight, generating impressively high aircraft utilisation. In the table above, Aircraft 4 incorporates flights between Dortmund and Wroclaw, and Eindhoven and Budapest. Similarly, Aircraft 3 operates a rotation between Dortmund and Bucharest Baneasa three days a week. The only routes operated more than daily are to London Luton (13 per week) and Dortmund (also 13 per week). In 2006, Wizz Air carried 197,000 passengers on the Luton route (Source: UK CAA) and 177,000 on the Dortmund route (Source: Destatis). These two routes alone represent over 12% of all Wizz Air’s traffic in 2006.

Cheap flights to Barcelona

A snapshot of available fares for the week commencing 30 July on flights out of Katowice is shown in the table below.

Table: Wizz Air fares from Katowice

Fare data is in Polish Zloty and includes all basic fees and taxes. The average fare across all routes for the week was around €100. Since these fares are all for flights booked within a week of departure this will be well above the average fare achieved for these routes as a whole. Taking into account sector length the best value flights would appear to be to Barcelona while the most expensive are to Cologne/Bonn.

Wizz Air helping airport grow by 34% per year

According to figures from the airport’s own website, traffic grew at Katowice in 2006 by 34% from 1.09 million to 1.46 million passengers. In the first six months of 2007 traffic has again grown by 34%. Operating 180-seat A320s means that Wizz Air may have only 57% of frequency at KTW this summer, but it represents 76% of all scheduled capacity (Source: OAG Max Online).

LOT operates flights to Warsaw, Munich and Turin, while its low-cost subsidiary Centralwings serves Dublin, Edinburgh, Palma, Rhodes and Shannon. Finally, Lufthansa flies three times per day to Frankfurt and three times per week to Düsseldorf. Ryanair will start its first route to Katowice in November, linking its new Bristol base with the airport.

Image: Routes from Katowice
Cork is the longest sector flown by Wizz Air from Katowice at nearly 2,000 kilometres.

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