European budget carrier Wizz Air more than doubled its passenger numbers in 2022 to reach 45.6 million as it benefited from a strong recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The fast-growing Hungary-based airline only carried 21.7 million passengers in 2021 as travel restrictions hit the aviation industry hard. Wizz’s 2022 traffic also easily surpassed its 2019 figure of 39.8 million passengers.
Wizz Air’s overall capacity in 2022 reached 52.7 million seats with a load factor of 86.7 per cent. This compares with capacity of 28.9 million seats and a load factor of 75.2 per cent in 2021, and the pre-Covid figures of 42.5 million seats and a 93.6 per cent load factor in 2019.
The airline, which now has a fleet of 177 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, is planning more expansion this year and its adding aircraft to its bases at Rome Fiumicino, Vienna, Warsaw, Tirana in Albania, Belgrade and Kutaisi in Georgia. While a new base has also opened at Suceava in Romania.
Other recent moves have seen Wizz launch new routes between Italy and Saudi Arabia, with flights from Milan to Jeddah and Rome to Riyadh. It has also started services from Vienna to both Jeddah and Riyadh.
But it has not all been good news for Wizz Air recently as it was criticised by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) last month for the “high volume” of complaints and delays in paying refunds to passengers.