22 SEPTEMBER 2014

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Article from BTNews 22 SEPTEMBER 2014

Aviation Club welcomes Wizz

József Váradi, CEO of Wizz Airlines, proved to be a dynamic speaker at London’s Aviation Club last week.  His English was perfect. 

The former boss of Malév Hungarian Airlines was given short shrift by CNN’s Richard Quest when the airline made its inaugural flight from Katowice to Luton on 4 May 2004.  “You won’t last a year” said the TV anchor man.  Ten years on Wizz is profitable, will carry 14m passengers in 2014, and operates 54 Airbus A320 aircraft.  Quest and Váradi are good friends.

Asked by Business Travel News why Wizz does not offer allocated seating Mr Váradi was a little evasive.  “It is something we are thinking about but we don’t think it necessary on all routes,” he said.  BTN pointed out that booking your seat in the low-cost sector was first introduced by Vueling in 2008, then easyJet, and this year even Ryanair offers the facility.

Regarding the recent botched attempt of an IPO Mr Váradi said that the timing was not right.  “We are keeping an eye on market developments,” he said.  “An IPO isn't required to deliver growth plans as the carrier is financially self-sufficient.”  He wouldn't address the possible timing of a renewed IPO. www.wizzair.com

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