World News

Wizz Air not considering plane deferrals, sees growth returning in 2022: CEO

LONDON (Reuters) – European low cost airline Wizz Air <WIZZ.L> is not looking to defer any of the Airbus <AIR.PA> narrowbody planes it has on order even though it does not expect the market to grow again until 2022, its chief executive said.

Wizz CEO Jozsef Varadi told Reuters on Tuesday that he believed the market for air travel would start growing in 2022.

“If we take 2019 as a baseline, I would guess that 2022 is going to be a bigger year than 2019 so we would have two years of transition,” he said in a telephone interview.

The airline, whose geographic focus is central and eastern Europe, said that when air travel restarts Wizz is considering flying its planes two-thirds full to ease passenger concerns about being too close to others following the coronavirus pandemic.

“We would basically be blocking a third of the airplanes, so 180 seater would be come a 120 seater, and the 230 seater would become more like 160 seater,” Varadi said.

“These are the things that we are looking at right now.”

(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton)