By Charlotte Seet
Wizz Air Announces Large Hiring Spree in Bid to Expand Network
Despite an initial underestimation in the number of employees it would need and eventually being forced to drop the Norwegian market, Wizz Air recently announced it would be ramping up its pilot recruitment program.
As Europe’s fastest-growing airline, the airline aims to hire up to 4,600 new pilots by the year 2030 and has already trained over 150 additional pilots, with plans to hire a further 300 by the end of this year.
Most airlines worldwide have yet to bounce back from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and some are still coming back in a cautious manner in light of unprecedented and sudden restrictions, but Wizz Air seems to be moving ahead of the pack as it is already expecting passenger numbers to return to pre-Covid-19 levels.
In short, Wizz Air is extremely confident that it will soon exceed its pre-pandemic passenger levels — likely by the end of this year — and is expecting much more passenger growth through next year.
The gigantic recruitment aim comes as the budget airline keeps its addition of new bases going for the next year or so, having announced the tripling of its fleet with over 500 Airbus aircraft expected to join in the next 10 years.
Besides its fleet, the rapidly growing budget airline is also expanding to over 800 routes, flying to over 190 destinations in almost 50 countries.
“We are pleased to be recruiting for thousands of new pilot positions at an exciting time for Wizz Air, as we continue to grow our presence across Europe and beyond,” Chief Operations Officer Heiko Holm said in a press release.
Since it first started in 2003, it can be said that the Hungarian-based budget carrier’s growth has been steady despite the many hurdles it has faced, such as Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite having quite a significant amount of cash reserves when the pandemic first started, the rapid expansion during 2020 was painted by many outside the airline as a risky and reckless maneuver by Wizz Air, considering the lack of passenger demand due to tighter restrictions last year.
In the eyes of the airline, it was either go big or go home.
But perhaps the strategy was not that reckless after all, as key European low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and EasyJet have had to close some bases due to lack of passenger demand and perhaps funding as well.
The lack of strong competition, paired with strong liquidity, has allowed Wizz Air to dominate market share across the whole of Europe, with its biggest network currently in Italy.
Moreover, the strategy has also allowed for the airline to plan for a post-Covid-19 outlook, as compared to several other airlines worldwide which are still aiming to survive through the pandemic.
Hoping for the full return of international travel in the coming months, it can be assured that Wizz Air will be extremely effective in garnering pent-up passenger demand and continue its aggressive growth in the months ahead.