Dubai: Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will stick to its plan to add 25 aircraft to its fleet over the next five years, said Kees Van Schaick, managing director of Wizz Air.
Indigo Partners, owner of European company Wizz Air, announced on Sunday an order for an additional 255 A321neo at the 2021 Dubai Airshow. The order, which includes 102 planes for Wizz Air, is valued at $ 33 billion at current list prices . “Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is hoping to take its fair share of this order to fuel its growth plans, say around 25 aircraft over the next five years – that’s still the ambition,” Van Schaick said on the sidelines of the Dubai Air Show .
The biggest order at the airshow also included 27 A321XLR planes and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi plans to add some to its fleet. These longer range models will allow the low cost airline to operate to popular destinations in Western Europe. “The crew can operate at a distance of five hours from Abu Dhabi and return the same day,” said Van Schaick. With XLR, “that number will drop to seven hours and we will be able to reach Western Europe, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.”
This will translate to more flights and 10 to 12 air routes, the Wizz Air official said. “We will also increase frequencies per week. “
What is the XLR?
The A321XLR is a narrow-body single-aisle aircraft with a typical two-class capacity of 180-200. As far as range is concerned, he has the tallest of all narrow bodies – up to 8,700 kilometers. The standard A321neo has a range of just under 6,000 kilometers. The aircraft, which suffered some production and delivery delays during the pandemic, remains on track for a first delivery in 2023.
Wizz Air “will team up” with the soon to be launched Abu Dhabi Midfield Terminal to provide a “wonderful” customer experience, said Van Schaick. As part of Abu Dhabi’s plans to boost tourism, the Midfield terminal is expected to double the number of passengers landing in the emirate each year. “We hope he will be ready as soon as possible,” said Van Schaick.
In 2019, the number of passenger arrivals at Abu Dhabi International Airport was around 10 million people.
India could be a huge market for Wizz Air. Air services to and from India to the United Arab Emirates account for around 30% of all international capacity from India, making it one of the busiest air corridors in the world.
“This is one of the markets we would like to grow and connect in – they are not open-air markets today or fully liberalized,” said Robert Carey, president of Wizz Air in a previous interview. “We aspire to serve this market in the near future. “