There’s always a lingering question buzzing around travelers’ minds: How does Wizz Air maintain such low prices?
Wizz Air is so cheap because of its cost-effective operational tactics. They focus on flying routes with less competition, operating one type of aircraft which limits maintenance and training costs, and charging for extras like baggage and meals.
Curious to know more? Keep reading. In this brief guide, we will dive deeper into the cost-effective strategies of Wizz Air that significantly impact its pricing policy.
Flying High with Wizz Air: Unpacking the Brand
Wizz Air, a Hungarian low-cost airline, has disrupted traditional aviation models with its efficient cost-saving strategies. Operating over 700 routes from 25 bases, Wizz Air is characterized by its affordable prices, making air travel accessible to a wider demographic. Let’s dive into the features that make this airline stand out.
One of the reasons behind Wizz Air’s affordable pricing is their implementation of an efficient, single-type aircraft fleet. The airline exclusively operates Airbus A320 and A321, which are known for their fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance costs. The uniformity of the fleet allows for streamlined operations and contributes significantly to the cost-cutting strategy by reducing training expenses for crew and engineers.
Wizz Air operates primarily from secondary and regional airports, where landing and service fees are considerably lower than the larger, more congested airports. This strategy not only cuts costs but also ensures punctuality by avoiding busy hub traffic. However, passengers may need to factor in additional time or costs for reaching these airports, which are often situated further from city centres.
The baggage policy is another area where Wizz Air finds savings. The airline operates primarily on a “no-frills” basis, meaning passengers only pay for the services they require. Checked luggage and larger carry-on bags come at an additional cost, reducing the company’s expenses related to baggage handling and fuel consumption.
Straightforward Product Offering
Wizz Air prides itself on its straightforward product offering. Their transparent pricing structure allows customers to clearly see the base fare along with the cost of any additional services. This means that passengers are only paying for exactly what they use. Everything is optional, from choosing your seat to purchasing onboard refreshments, enabling the airline to keep their base prices incredibly low.
Frequent Flyer Program
While most low-cost carriers don’t offer loyalty programs, Wizz Air bucks this trend with their “Wizz Discount Club”. This membership-model program provides members with discounts on flights and baggage, encouraging repeat bookings and consequently maintaining a steady cash flow.
Overall, Wizz Air’s strategy of maximizing efficiency and offering transparent, optional services has allowed them to provide cheap, reliable air travel. However, their success hinges not only on their low-cost model but also on their ability to deliver their promise: punctual flights, clean environments, and friendly service.
Breaking Down the Budget: The Economics of Wizz Air’s Low Costs
As a low-cost carrier, Wizz Air operates its business model by focusing on cost reductions in various areas of its operation. Indeed, the underlying factor behind Wizz Air’s ability to offer cheap flights to passengers lies in the company’s strategic practices that minimize airfare costs. Below, we delve into the specifics.
Operating a Single Fleets: Streamlining Maintenance
One key strategy employed by Wizz Air to keep its operating costs down comes in the form of operating a single fleet of aircraft. To be more specific, the company operates a fleet composed solely of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. Running a single fleet facilitates streamlined maintenance and operational processes. Moreover, it reduces training expenses as crew members only need to be trained for one type of aircraft.
Secondary Airports: Lower Taxations and Charges
In addition to operating a single fleet, Wizz Air also cleverly manages its route network by primarily flying to and from secondary airports. These airports typically charge lower landing fees compared to more significant hubs. They are usually less congested, leading to fewer delays and hence, less wasted fuel — lowering the operational costs even further. Moreover, secondary airports are often willing to negotiate more favourable rates to attract airlines, a benefit that Wizz Air happily exploits.
Charge for Extra Services: Ancillary Revenue Approach
Wizz Air uses the ancillary revenue approach, where extra services such as baggage check-ins, seat selection, and on-board refreshments come at an added charge. In 2019 alone, the company’s ancillary revenues rose by 37.8% to €816.1 million, accounting for around 40% of the company’s total revenue. This approach not only provides an additional income stream for the airline but also allows it to price its base fares more competitively.
|Ancillary revenue (€ million)
|Percentage of total revenue
These clever strategies employed by Wizz Air ensure its services remain cost-effective and its ticket prices, affordable.
Behind the Scenes: Wizz Air’s Operations and Efficiency
Wizz Air has earned a reputation for being one of the most budget-friendly airlines out there. So, how do they manage to keep the costs so low while providing efficient services? The secret lies in the airline’s operational strategy and high-efficiency systems. Here, we take a look at some of the key strategies that help Wizz Air maintain its price advantage.
High Aircraft Utilization: More Flights, More Revenue
Put simply, Wizz Air makes more money by flying more. The strategy involves maximizing the number of flights that each aircraft makes every day, known as High Aircraft Utilization. This means fewer hours on the ground and more hours in the air, generating revenue.
Wizz Air has an estimated aircraft turnaround time of just 25 minutes – this is one of the lowest in the industry. This quick efficiency allows them to operate more flights than other airlines with the same number of aircrafts.
Fly More with Less: The Magic of Quick Turnaround
The quick turnaround time at Wizz Air not only involves efficient crew and operational procedures, but also speedy boarding and de-boarding systems. They do this by strictly enforcing cabin baggage limitations and by having simple cabin layouts that allow for fast cleaning and resupplying processes. This keeps ground-time to a minimum, so planes can take off for their next flight as quickly as possible, thus, flying more with less time.
Optimizing Fuel Efficiency
Another crucial strategy is fuel efficiency. Wizz Air operates one of the youngest fleets of aircraft in the world, with an average aircraft age of just 5.4 years. These modern planes are more fuel efficient compared to older models, reducing the amount of fuel needed.
Moreover, Wizz Air pilots are also trained to cruise at optimum altitudes where the air is thinner, resulting in less fuel burn. This not only reduces costs but also contributes towards environmental sustainability. Also, the airline adopts a single aircraft model, which simplifies maintenance, lowers operational complexity, reduces spare parts inventory, and therefore, can contribute to decreased overhead expenses.
The Wizz Air Business Model: Lean and Mean
The Wizz Air business model is a streamlined operation that emphasizes cost efficiency, using strategies from minimal crew expenses to digital sales that minimize overhead costs. Here’s how they manage to provide such affordable flights while still remaining profitable.
Minimized Crew Expenses
One significant way in which Wizz Air remains cost-effective is via deep cuts in crew costs. Unlike full-service airlines, Wizz Air operates with a minimal crew onboard. The total staff with Wizz Air in 2019 was approximately 5000, in stark contrast to larger airlines like American Airlines that staffed over 130,000 people the same year. The airline also encourages productivity and efficiency with performance-based incentives, further reducing expenses.
Another way Wizz Air keeps crew costs low is by recruiting mainly from Central and Eastern Europe, where wage expectations are relatively lower. They also operate a lean staff structure, meaning they avoid the heavy layers of middle management that drive up costs in other companies.
Digital Sales Strategy: Managing Overhead Costs
Wizz Air is a pioneer in the utilization of digital technology to minimize overhead costs. The airline not only sells the majority of its tickets online, but it also encourages customers to manage their bookings digitally, which reduces the necessity for labor-intensive customer service. In fact, Wizz Air’s annual report of 2018 showed that about 98% of all ticket sales are made through their website or app, a significant increase from the industry average.
In addition to ticket sales, Wizz Air also offers ancillary services through their digital channels. These include additional baggage, seat selection, in-flight meals, and even car rentals and hotel bookings, which boost their revenue without significant increases in overhead costs. The airline reported that around 40% of their total revenue came from these ancillary services in 2019.
By operating lean and relying on digital sales and services, Wizz Air effectively keeps its operating costs and overheads to a minimum. This approach, in turn, translates into cheaper ticket prices for passengers, making it a preferred choice for budget travelers.
Understanding Wizz Air’s Customer Base
Wizz Air, often referred to as the Ryanair of Eastern Europe, is a rapidly expanding airline that has found success in offering low-cost flights across the continent. A significant reason for Wizz Air’s low prices can be attributed to its distinctive customer base.
Serving Price-Sensitive Travelers
The primary demographic of Wizz Air is the price-sensitive traveler. These consumers prioritize affordable fares over luxury services, allowing Wizz Air to reduce their costs significantly in areas such as meals, seat selection, and extra luggage. Wizz Air’s flights are a solid choice for the budget-conscious who prefer to spend their money on the destination rather than the journey itself. In essence, customers pay for a seat and an allotted amount of luggage; everything else is an optional extra.
The Appeal of No-Frills Flying
Another reason why Wizz Air can offer such cheap flights is because they operate on a no-frills model. Often labeled as “ultra-low-cost”, the no-frills approach means that services are stripped back to the bare minimum. Meals, drinks, entertainment and even carry-on bags are not included in the base fare, but are available at an extra charge. This model attracts customers who are looking for the cheapest possible way to get from point A to point B, without any luxuries.
A notable feature of Wizz Air’s no-frills approach is their use of non-mainstream airports, which often have lower landing fees than larger, more congested airports. This not only contributes to reduced operating costs, but also gives travelers access to less popular destinations, furthering Wizz Air’s appeal to its price-sensitive customers.
Here is a basic illustration of their pricing structure:
|Included in Base Fare?
|Yes (For extra)
Despite being a low-cost airline, Wizz Air continually receives high customer satisfaction ratings, proving that a large portion of the market values affordability and accessibility over unnecessary extras. As travel trends continue to shift more towards value for money, Wizz Air’s model is poised to continue its upward trajectory.
A Seat at the Low-Cost Carrier Table: Wizz Air’s Success in Comparison
For anyone looking for cost-effective travel in and around Europe, Wizz Air is a popular name. This Hungarian airline has firmly established its presence in the low-cost carrier market, and there are several factors contributing to its success.
Firstly, Wizz Air has an extensive network within Central and Eastern Europe. This is one area where it overshadows many of its competitors. It serves more than 150 destinations across 44 countries, offering a range of choices to its passengers. Moreover, its primary focus on smaller or secondary airports, where operational costs tend to be lower, helps to keep fares affordable.
Secondly, Wizz Air operates a single type of aircraft – the Airbus A320 family. This allows for simplified operations, leaner maintenance processes, and lower training costs, making it a cost-efficient choice for the airline. With these saving, Wizz Air can offer affordable prices to its customers.
Additionally, the airline follows a high-utilization model, striving to keep their planes in the air as much as possible. More flights mean more potential earnings which can then be passed on to the customers in the form of low fares.
Lastly, Wizz Air, like many other low-cost carriers, offers a no-frills service. In-flight amenities are typically minimal, and any additional services like baggage, meals, or seat selection come at an extra cost. The ‘à la carte’ pricing strategy allows passengers to tailor their experience based on their budget and needs which means they only pay for what they use, helping to keep prices competitive.
On comparing with other low-cost carriers, Wizz Air’s strategy clearly stands out.
|Type of Aircraft
|Airbus A320 Family
|À La Carte
|À La Carte
|Airbus A319 & A320 Family
|À La Carte
As shown in the chart above, though Ryanair serves more destinations, Wizz Air’s strategy of targeting smaller, secondary airports gives it an edge. Furthermore, its exclusive use of the Airbus A320 family provides operational efficiencies that other carriers often don’t have.
Final Destinations: The Pros and Cons of Flying with Wizz Air
Wizz Air, a Hungarian low-cost airline, is popular among travelers for its affordable air fares. Known for its excellent service and budget-friendly ticket rates, it has become a preferred carrier for frequent fliers who prioritize cost-effective travel. But why are the rates so cheap and what exactly goes on behind the scenes? What benefits do you receive, and what might you be compromising on with the reduced price?
What You Get and What You Miss
When you purchase a ticket with Wizz Air, one thing’s for sure, you’ll get a comfortable, safe and efficient flight. All passengers can expect a clean airplane, kind and competent staff, and a relatively punctual service. However, it’s worth noting that the low fares come with certain conditions in place.
Firstly, ticket prices generally cover only the flight itself. Additional services such as choosing your seat, extra legroom, inflight meals and beverages, and checked luggage often come at an extra cost. The ‘à la carte’ style pricing model allows you to add only the services you need, helping to keep the basic ticket price low. Here’s a simple breakdown:
|Included in base fare
|✖️ (if you want to choose)
Why Cheap Doesn’t Mean Poor Quality
One might associate low cost with low quality, but that’s not the case with Wizz Air. Their aircraft are modern and well-maintained, and their staff are trained to provide a high standard of service. So, while you might be paying less for your ticket, you’re certainly not compromising on safety or service.
Their affordability mainly comes down to their efficient operations. Wizz Air mainly operates single-type Airbus A321 aircraft fleet, the most efficient single-aisle aircraft. This savings in fuel and maintenance costs can be passed on to the passengers. Plus, the company is also known for getting high utilization from their planes, with quick turnarounds at airports contributing to lower costs.
Moreover, the airline helps you avoid unnecessary costs by offering a clear, upfront pricing strategy. Any extras are optional, allowing passengers to make a choice about what they value most on their journey.
So, while Wizz Air offers cheaper prices, the quality of their flights remains commendable. And with their transparent pricing and efficient business model, passengers can expect value for their money.