From December to February, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is set for solid flight bookings in the winter months. The low-cost transportation attracts price-sensitive and repeat customers to hunt for travel bargains.
During a media briefing, Johan Eidhagen, managing director of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, stated that the airline is aggressively utilizing its aircraft and capacity to meet demand on existing routes.
"There will be some last-minute bookings, but December is going to be a very strong month for us. It always is between this week and the week after New Year's, which are three of the strongest weeks of the year," he said.
"We have strong bookings already for January and February ... I'm pretty confident on the winter."
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi estimates passenger growth in the double digits in 2024, according to Mr. Eidhagen, who did not specify an annual target.
The airline experienced a surge in passenger volume, from 1.2 million passengers in 2022 to 3 million in 2023, as the global aviation industry recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic.
1.5 million passengers out of these 3 million were point-to-point passengers flying into Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is "on track" to attract 24 million visitors this year, an increase from 18 million the previous year, according to the last statement by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. Mr. Eidhagen stated that Wizz Air Abu Dhabi's load factor, which indicates how well the airline occupies available seats, was 85% this year and is projected to rise to 18% in 2024. He added that it is "not uncommon" for low-cost carriers to experience load factors exceeding 90%.
Amid the pandemic, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, a joint venture between Wizz Air Holding of Hungary and ADQ, the state holding company of Abu Dhabi, commenced operations in 2021 with an air operator certificate from the UAE.
In November, the airline switched operations to the newly constructed Terminal A at Abu Dhabi International Airport; its inaugural flight departed on November 2.
As per the executive, the 45 million-passenger-per-year capacity of the new terminal building will enable the airline to expand its operations and provide a more refined travel experience.
"The new terminal is, of course, a massive upgrade in capacity. So it allows us to grow without restrictions so we can add more capacity, and we focused quite a lot together with the airport on fine-tuning operations and improving efficiency," Mr Eidhagen said.
In 2023, the seating capacity increased by 135 per cent to 3.7 million seats when the airline added four additional Airbus A321 aircraft, taking its total fleet to 12 jets.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi has expanded its route network to forty in twenty-seven countries from Abu Dhabi, adding eight destinations in 2023. The airline has further plans to introduce additional routes in 2024, according to Mr. Eidhagen.
He stated that the airline will commence a fresh round of staff recruitment in April 2024 to accommodate the expansion of its operations. He added that this will follow the employment of approximately 300 pilots and cabin crew members.
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