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  • Writer's pictureKane Ray

AV Analysis Week 25: Wizz Air

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

A regular update where our in house team of aviation experts and ISTAT certified appraisers use our data to analyse values, market movements and notable aviation news.


This week, our Head of Appraisers, Kane Ray takes a look at Wizz Air values, fleet developments and activity.


Introduction

Wizz Air, a European low cost carrier (LCC) headquartered in Budapest, Hungary, is owned by Wizz Air Holdings and Indigo Partners, a private equity firm with multiple airline investments. Wizz Air Hungary has the following subsidiaries: Wizz Air UK, Wizz Air Malta, and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi.


Wizz Air’s core market is in Central and Eastern Europe, and it views itself as the dominant LCC here. Elsewhere, it established bases in Italy following the demise of Alitalia and the ensuing sell off to ITA Airways. Wizz Air UK grew following the operational cessation of Monarch Airlines at London Luton Airport and Virgin Atlantic’s withdrawal at Gatwick Airport. In 2022, Wizz Air employed a similar strategy to secure the defunct Blue Air’s customers in Romania. Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is a joint venture with ADQ and commenced flight operations in January 2021.


Some of Wizz Air’s key strategies are:

  • Available seat kilometer growth by 30% year on year. This will be supported by continued A321neo aircraft deliveries

  • Load factors of c. 95%. Reported load factors were 90.2% in May 2023

  • 12.5 flight hours of operation, per aircraft, per day. This was reported at c. 11 flight hours at company year end in March 2023

Value Movements & Transactions


As noted, Wizz Air has been taking delivery of new A321neo aircraft from a large backlog.


For a 0 year old (new) fixed age vintage A321neo, the lowest Market Value our algorithm has calculated in the past 12 months was USD 61.58m on 20th July 2022, and the highest Market Value on 4th April 2023 at USD 64.74m, an overall increase of of 5.1%. Market Values have eased slightly since then to a current value of USD 63.44m.


Market Value movements are supported by recent A321neo transactions, including a deal specific to Wizz Air:


  • In April 2023, AviationValues recorded a Japanese Operating Lease with Call Option (JOLCO) sale and leaseback transaction of MSN 11388, an A321neo, that entered service with Wizz Air Malta on 18th April 2023. The first of three deliveries that also included MSNs 11291 and 11370, Wizz Air entered this en bloc transaction last year with SBI Leasing Services for c. USD 180m.

Fleet Development & Overview

Wizz Air’s combined fleet is made up of A320ceo and A320neo family aircraft. It will become a majority A321neo operator: as of June 2023, it has 282 aircraft on backlog, split between A321neo (222 aircraft), A321XLR (47 aircraft) and A320neo (13 aircraft). Ninety A321neos have already been delivered and are in active service.

Wizz Air Hungary has been reducing the number of A320ceo aircraft in its fleet. Most recently it has transferred 19 A320ceo aircraft to Wizz Air Malta. Between January 2021 and February 2023, it returned c.25 A320ceo aircraft to lessors. Wizz Air Malta has also received A320neo aircraft from Wizz Air Hungary.


By 2023 year end, Wizz Air plans to have over 200 aircraft in its combined airline fleet.


Activity (2023)

In Europe, Wizz Air’s airport bases are predominantly in Central and Eastern Europe. Its 34 European airport bases span, from north to south, Vilnius International Airport, Lithuania to Larnaca International Airport, Cyprus; and from east to west London Luton, UK to Kutaisi International Airport, Georgia. Its 35th base is in Abu Dhabi (Wizz Air Abu Dhabi).


Like other low cost carriers, direct operating costs are reduced by its use of cheaper secondary airports, which it favours to primary airports at 61% to 39%. It is also gaining market share by offering more frequencies on established and viable routes.


The below chart shows activity from and to Wizz Air’s main operating destinations as of June 2023.


Note: includes live aircraft only based on operated by Wizz air, including, active, parked and stored.


Data as of June 2023


Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to provide general information and not to provide advice or guidance in relation to particular circumstances. Readers should not make decisions in reliance on any statement or opinion contained in this blog.


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