Wizz Air’s S24 capacity down 1%; over half of countries have fewer seats than last summer

Wizz HAM-CTA

One of the best-known characteristics of ULCC Wizz Air is fast growth. Not so in S24. According to the latest Cirium schedules information, the Group – consisting of Hungary, UK, Malta and Abu Dhabi units – has 42.1 million available seats. It is down by 1% versus S23. This is overwhelmingly because of ongoing problems with its P&W engines. Further cuts and changes may materialise in subsequent schedule updates.

More than half of Wizz Air’s countries have fewer seats

The Group will serve 52 countries in Europe, North Africa, the Caucasus, the Middle East and Asia this summer. That is two fewer than in S23, as Bahrain and Luxembourg have exited its network. The return of Moldova has partly counterbalanced them. Due to the Ukraine war, it ceased flying to the country in March 2023. It returned in December and plans five routes in S24 – a far cry from its previous network.

More than half of countries – 27 – have fewer seats than they did last summer. The worst affected are Latvia (-83%) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (-64%). However, they have never been significant countries for Wizz Air. In S24, the ULCC only has one route from Riga (Kutaisi) and seven in total from Banya Luka, Sarajevo and Tuzla.

A problem with looking at percentage change is that it means small changes in capacity result in big swings, hence so many of the countries in the following figure ranking relatively low in its network. A key exception is Tirana, Wizz Air’s sixth most-served nation. Capacity has risen by 35% year-on-year, partly influenced by the late arrival of Ryanair.

Wizz Airs 10 word/best countries change in seats

What about its top 15 countries?

Despite Italy remaining Wizz Air’s leading country by a strong margin, it has also grown well year-on-year (+6%). It is because of the international market, with seats up by a fifth. In contrast, domestic capacity has reduced by almost half (-47%), with routes down to 10 from 16.

Athens International Airport

Of its 15 largest markets, only three countries have grown more than Italy: Albania (+35%, despite the loss of flights to Kukës), Spain (+25%) and the UAE (+22%). In contrast, Romania, the UK, Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, and Serbia are all smaller for Wizz Air than in S23. Poland is now the ULCC’s third-largest nation, replacing the UK, which has dropped to fourth. Germany has fallen three places to eighth.

Top 15 Wizz Air countries S24

187 airports served in S24, fewer than last summer

The latest schedule information via Cirium indicates that Wizz Air will serve 187 airports in S24, based on having at least four flights. However, the number of airports in its network has reduced from 195 in S23.

Airports no longer served include Aarhus, Bahrain, Bristol, Comiso, Edinburgh, Fuerteventura, Grenoble, Kukës, Lamezia Terme, Łódź, Luxembourg, Marsa Alam, Olsztyn-Mazury, Palermo, Preveza and Växjö. They are, of course, offset by additions, including Chișinău, Frankfurt FRA (limited flights for Euro 2024), Munich (limited flights for Euro 2024), Radom, Salzburg, Stuttgart and Stockholm ARN.

While London LTN remains Wizz Air’s leading airport, capacity has reduced by 3% year-on-year, the only airport in the top 10 with a reduction. Notice the huge growth of Rome FCO and Tirana in particular, along with more modest expansion at Bucharest. With LTN’s limited room for expansion, one of these will likely overtake it for the top spot in the future.

Top 15 Wizz Air airports S24

Shannon Airport