Wizz Air eyes Saudi Arabia expansion

Wizz Air shares were up 1.9% to 2,959p in early morning trading on Tuesday, following the firm’s announcement that it was eyeing a potential expansion into Saudi Arabia.

The budget airline met signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Investment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in a meeting on Tuesday.

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The venture was supported by the Saudi National Air Connectivity Programme, a Ministry of Tourism initiative started in 2021 to support the development of the tourism sector in Saudi Arabia.

Wizz Air commented that the MoU was developed to explore the airline market expansion potential of the Saudi Arabia region.

Saudi Arabia has been working towards its goal to triple passenger traffic in the country by 2030 as part of the country’s Vision 2030 programme, which is set to provide a vast selection of opportunities to the airline and aviation supply chain.

The airline confirmed that it would be working with the Kingdom to enable potential investment and operating models to boost the Saudi Arabian aviation environment, with the intended impact of boosting its tourism industry and facilitating expanded connectivity.

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The move follows Wizz Air’s recent initiative to hire 20,000 new employees by 2030, including 6,600 pilots and the addition of 500 aircraft to the firm.

The announcement was delivered at the Pilot Expo 2022 in early May, and confirmed that 6,600 of the new employees would take on the role of flight crew members, with the remaining 13,400 slots intended for new flight attendants.

Wizz Air said it aimed to generate €15 billion per year by 2030, according to crew resources head Ewa Danecka-Latka.

“The plan is to grow three times in just nine years and it is not just a dream, this is one of the KPIs that we have to deliver,” said Danecka-Latka.

“For our recruitment team it means that we have to recruit one person every hour, which represents our goal of 2,000 new hires per year.”

“As we need a lot of new pilots and a lot of new cabin crew members joining our operations, this is what we are preparing ourselves for.”

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