Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air plans to accelerate its delivery schedule for new Airbus aircraft while its rivals defer deliveries in a bid to save cash.
Wizz Air, which is set to launch a subsidiary airline in the Abu Dhabi in October, plans on receiving a total of 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft next year, five more than previously scheduled, CEO Jozsef Varadi told Bloomberg in an interview.
He said that negotiations with Airbus have included commercial arrangements, which suggest that Wizz Air may get a better deal on its order.
The news comes as most airlines approach manufacturers to defer aircraft deliveries because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on international air travel. In the first-half of 2020 Airbus delivered 196 planes, 50% fewer than the same period last year.
“We have not been deferring or cancelling orders,” Mr Varadi told Bloomberg. “In fact, we are doing quite the reverse.”
Wizz Air is due to receive 12 A321neos in 2020, although Mr Varadi noted that the jets could be delayed following Airbus partial production shutdown earlier this year.
Airbus’s production rates will remain at 40% of pre-pandemic levels for two years because of the drop in demand for new planes.
Wizz Air is one of just a handful of airlines going ahead with deliveries as scheduled.
The airline, which already has a 200-strong fleet of Airbus jets, plans to operate 100 aircraft in the Middle East within 15 years.
Mr Varadi said recently that he plans on replicating the carrier’s European success in the Gulf region.