anna.aero joins London Luton and Wizz Air as they celebrate the airline’s first A321neo service; also confirms 60th route from airport
On 15 March Wizz Air operated its first ever A321neo service into London Luton, with the airline having took delivery of the type on 7 March. Owain Jones, MD of Wizz Air UK, said of the aircraft: “The arrival of the airline’s brand-new A321neo to our London Luton base is a major milestone for Wizz Air in the UK, both in terms of our industry-leading growth and our aim to become one of the greenest airlines in the sky. Wizz Air is proud to operate one of the youngest fleets in Europe, and this new aircraft decreases our environmental footprint even further.”
The day was not only a celebration of Wizz Air’s new aircraft technology, but also an occasion to rejoice in the airline’s decision to commence flights between Luton and Stavanger in September. The announcement of this service means that Wizz Air has 60 routes bookable from the London airport. When comparing this to easyJet, they currently offer 70 routes from Luton on either a seasonal or year-round basis. Wizz Air has nine aircraft on its UK AOC, with a further two, both A321s, joining later this year, meaning the carrier will have 11 units based at Luton. Based on OAG Schedules Analyser data, this summer Wizz Air is scheduled to offer around 5.22 million two-way seats from Luton, however this could still increase, while in comparison to easyJet, the latter is expected to fly just over 5.41 million from Luton. However, when comparing this year’s summer schedule to S18, Wizz Air is offering 14% more seats, while easyJet’s remains the same, showing that the former ULCC is certainly closing the gap regarding market share on the Luton-originating airline.
“We built the UK AOC for EU protection, and also to support our non EU-UK routes,” comments Jones to anna.aero. “It was originally designed for one or two aircraft, however then Monarch Airlines fell, we saw a commercial opportunity to expand here. Firstly we added more aircraft to take some of the W-pattern flying out of the schedule, and then looked at new opportunities from Luton. The UK aviation scene has been very different over the last year or so, and with the likelihood of more consolidation in the UK, it is likely going to allow us to develop even more opportunities from here, with new capacity allowing for even more new routes.”
“Wizz Air’s growth story started in 2004 here at London Luton, and every year they continue to go from strength-to-strength,” comments Jonathan Pollard, CCO, London Luton Airport to anna.aero. “In 2018, they flew 6.5 million passengers from here, and the scale of their destination growth is significant, with them now offering 60 routes from Luton.” Wizz Air’s first route to Luton was from Katowice, while for 2019 it will launch new routes from the airport to Krakow (launches 4 April), Bergen (1 July), Thessaloniki (1 July), Porto (2 July), Turku (2 July), Oslo Gardermoen (16 September), Stavanger (16 September) and Catania (17 September). “Wizz Air has provided new markets for Luton, and London as a whole, and the size of some of these markets shows that what they have created from here has been a success,” states Pollard.