- IATA / ICAO Code:
- W6 / WZZ
- Airline Type:
- Ultra-Low-Cost Carrier
- Year Founded:
- József Váradi
Frequent fliers and avid flight geeks will not be surprised to hear that the latest UK Civil Aviation Authority data shows that Wizz Air is the worst airline for flight delays in the country.
The data that led to this unfortunate number one spot relates to all of 2021, so it doesn’t even take into account the major delays that Wizz suffered this summer.
The average delay for Wizz Air flights in 2021 was 14 minutes. The next most-delayed airline was TUI with 13 minutes on average, followed by British Airways with 12 minutes.
At the other end of the spectrum, low-cost airlines fared very well: easyJet’s average delay was just four minutes which ranked it second-best, while Ryanair was the third least-delayed airline.
UK data for 2022 is expected to be far worse, though average flight delay time will have greatly improved recently, considering the massive amounts of cancellations that airlines have been doing. Just recently, British Airways announced it would be cutting its flight schedules well into the future, going as far as March 2022.
Wizz Air’s average delay was 14 minutes. Photo: Getty Images
Guy Hobbs, editor of consumer champion Which? Travel, commented on the news by saying:
“While these findings are worrying, the reality has actually been far worse for many travelers this summer. Holidaymakers have faced a barrage of disruption over the last few months, and these latest figures only serve to underline the need for urgent reform of the travel industry. “
Wizz recently announced a major loss
Wizz Air made headlines recently when it announced it had made a € 452.5 million ($ 453.4 million) loss for the second quarter of 2022. This is a remarkably high loss at a time when other European airlines are running a profit, especially for an airline of Wizz Air’s size. Although Wizz is a large airline, its seat capacity comes nowhere near the likes of Ryanair or Lufthansa.
Even easyJet, which reported a loss for the same period, only lost £ 114 million ($ 133.7 million), and it is a much larger business.
Commenting on the loss, Wizz Air’s CEO, József Váradi, said:
“Whilst we are rebuilding the airline with greater scale, we remain very conscious of the challenging macroeconomic and operational backdrop. Fuel prices for the quarter were double pre-pandemic levels. Lingering restrictions from COVID-19 remained, particularly during April and May, while the war in Ukraine and supply chain disruptions affecting air traffic control, security, and ground operation resources have impacted our utilization. “
The airline’s loss last quarter was very large. Photo: Getty Images
Wizz has struggled for multiple reasons lately. Firstly, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hurt a key market for the airline and left it with spare capacity. Wizz Air also has aircraft stuck in the country.
Secondly, the rising cost of fuel this year has hit Wizz Air hard because the airline infamously decided not to hedge its fuel. This has meant that Wizz’s costs ballooned this year, while, for example, Ryanair’s fuel costs stayed almost entirely fixed.
Lastly, Wizz embarked on an expansion beyond its means, resulting in the closure of some bases and heaps of cancellations across its network this summer.
What do you think of Wizz Air’s losses and its poor punctuality record? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.