Posts Tagged 'WizzAir'

The Sexiest WizzAir Flight Attendants

Here is what you’ve been waiting for! Choose your sexiest Flight Attendant and vote for her or him!

Wizzair, Central and Eastern Europe’s most popular low-cost airline has kicked off an interesting campaign on facebook, where you can select your favorite Wizzair Stewardess (or Steward) by voting. If you haven’t met (all of) them in person, you may just look at the pictures, and choose the sexiest, the best looking, the most smiling or simply the one you find the friendliest.

Sexy Stewardess are always a hot topic, and here the candidates have been pre-selected by fashion and airline industry experts, and now it’s our turn to choose the 14 faces of the airline for 2011. The winners will part-take in a professional photo-shoot and will feature in WizzAir‘s European marketing campaigns and ads this year. We can have our say of who we want to see on large (airport) billboards, in magazines or on TV.

All you need to do is:

1. go to facebook.com/wizzaircom
2. click on the “Wizz Ambassadors” link
3. allow the facebook app to use your personal data
4. vote on your favorite WizzAir girl or boy once a day – you have 7 votes per day, one for each country

Looks like the one vote per day per country is a good rule, as this should guarantee that the decision will not only rely on the number of facebook users per country, but will have votes going to all country representatives. It is also useful as WizzAir will have two faces in all countries where they operate from. By the way, the seven countries are: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary (where WizzAir started and still has its headquarters), Poland, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. You can see one of the Hungarian candidates here, Livia Toth (no suggestion or campaigning, just a pretty stewardess), but there are lots of other good looking WizzAir flight attendants in the facebook app that you can vote for!

The ones selected by the WizzAir facebook fans will not only be one of the faces of WizzAir in 2011 but I’m sure they will also gain popularity, (even more) self-confidence and potentially a new personal fan-base on facebook?

by balint01

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SkyEurope And Wizz Air: Different Strategies

SkyEurope B737 at BUD   Wizz Air A320 at BUD

The Central and Eastern European market of low cost airlines is going through some very interesting times. Let’s not talk about the low-cost airlines who operate to this area, but are of other origin, such as RyanAir, easyJet, Sterling, Germanwings, Norwegian, etc., etc., but focus on those which are based in this region!

There are a number of low-cost airlines operating out of Central and Eastern Europe, some smaller ones like Smartwings (Czech Republic, part of the TravelService group with 2+8 aircraft), Niki (Austria), Centralwings (Poland, part of the LOT group with 5 aircraft – planned 15 by 2010) and Blue Air (Romania, with 4 aircraft). The two bigger ones are SkyEurope and WizzAir, who are following a totally different strategy as revealed in the last few days, even though until recently they were direct competitors of each other.

SkyEurope Logo SkyEurope is pulling out of its hubs in Hungary and Poland, and will focus purely on Vienna, Prague and Bratislava from the upcoming winter schedule. The goal for them is to stabilize their financial base. They are on the stock exchange, and can not maintain their losses over a long period of time. They plan to station 6 B737-700’s in Vienna, and 4 in Prauge (up from 4 and 2 respectively), which shows the focus is clearly on Vienna and Austria, where the demand is more stable and financially set, compared to the other countries around Central Europe. SkyEurope plans to operate 15 aircraft in Vienna in 2-3 years time. Currently they operate 14 airplanes, and plan to add another 16 Boeing 737 New Generation planes in the coming years. However, it was also in the news last week, that SkyEurope is selling two of its new Boeing 737-700’s, to raise funds for operations in the upcoming winter schedule. The airplanes were due for delivery this month and in November. Giving up their Budapest base, they also plan to sell their airport handling unit at Budapest Ferihegy International airport, for about USD 3.5 million. This will be an interesting sales process, as the only customer of this handling company was SkyEurope, so what is up for sale is basically only the right to carry out gound handling activites at Budapest Ferihegy Airport, and some equipment. We have witnessed a similar situation at loss-making Malev, when assets and rights need to be sold in order to survive the weak winter travel season… This is not a good sign in my opinion, but we’ll see in a year, whether if it has paid off for SkyEurope or not.

WizzAir On the other hand, the younger, more dynamic, Hungarian WizzAir announced a major Airbus order today, for 50 new A320 family aircraft!! Wizz Air already flies 13 Airbus A320s and earlier said it plans to maintain a uniform fleet. It had earlier predicted operating 53 aircraft within three to five years. Over the last two years Wizz Air, which flies 70 routes in Europe, ordered 32 Airbus A320s that fly up to 180 passengers. “The new deal increases the total order made by Wizz Air for A320 to 82,” the companies said, while they also agreed on an option to buy 25 additional A320’s by 2016. The 50 new planes are to be delivered in 2011-2014, while the option covers the period 2014-2016. This is the largest order for Airbus in Central and Eastern Europe, and would make Wizz Air one of the largest regional carriers with narrow-body aircraft.

So the two strategies are totally different! One budger airline selling off assets to survive the upcoming winter period, while the other one placing the largest Airbus order in Central and Eastern Europe! While SkyEurope predicts to have 30 aircraft in a few years, Wizz Air will have 32, and will start receiving the 50 new ones announced today! While SkyEurope is backing out from Poland and Hungary, and is focusing on Austria and the Czech Republic, Wizz Air agressively gains markets, and focuses on Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, but keeps out of Austria and the Czech Republic. By only looking at the facts and this latest news, it looks like Wizz Air is winning on the Polish and Hungarian markets in the competition against SkyEurope, but it also looks a little bit like if the Central and Eastern European market of budget airlines has just been split up between the two…

by balint01

easyJet and WizzAir Charging Extra for ALL Checked-In Bags

As the latest effort to reduce costs and turn-around time (the time an aircraft spends at the airport between landing and the next take-off), easyJet and WizzAir are introducing a charge for all checked-in bags. This means that independant from the baggage allowance for a particular flight, passengers from now on will have to pay an additional fee for any bag they wish to check in.

easyJet easyJet will charge an additional £2 (€2.94) for each bag that is checked in (until now they have not charged the first checked-in bag). They allow a maximum of 8 bags, as long as their combined weight does not exceed 20kg. If you want to carry more than that with you, you still have to pay the excess baggage tariff, which costs £6 (€8.81) for each excess kilo you have. Your maximum baggage weight can be 50kg. So let’s see an extra-ordinary example: 8 bags, 50 kgs alltogether: you will be entitled to pay £196 (€288)… A more realistic travel luggage (2 checked-in bags, with a combined weight of 28 kilos) would cost £52 (€76). “Fewer checked-in bags can help to improve the operational performance of airports,” said easyJet.

WizzAir WizzAir on the other hand, will charge €3 per checked-in bags, if you purchase this service at the time of your booking. If you pay at the airport, you will have to pay €6, so double the amount. This gives a good reason for the husbands from now on, when their wives will want to buy souvenir item #132 on their holiday: “Sorry, honey, we can’t buy that, besides the high price and the fact that we have no more space in our living room for this, it would mean an additional bag on our flight back, and you know we have to pay double extra for that at the airport as I haven’t booked it originally…” They also charge €8 for every extra kilo you have above the 20kg original allowance. WizzAir claims this charge is necessary to keep the airfares down.

I’m just wondering how could it happen in an over-regulated, anti-trust European Market, that these two low-costs announced their new regulations on the same day, and will charge basically the same amount for the bags!? How did the second know about the decision of the first one?? 🙂 The only difference is that easyJet will start charging all passengers on flights departing after 30SEP2007, while WizzAir will only start about a month later, on 27OCT2007 and for only those passengers which will do not yet have their bookings at the time of the announcement. So the wifes who want loads of souvenirs are safe until the end of this European Summer Season.

RyanAir Just for your information: RyanAir has been charging £5 (€6) for every extra bag for some time if you pay at the time of booking via ryanair.com, and double the amount if you purchase this service at the airport or through the call-center (so RyanAir actually needs man-power for the purchase). Their charge for excess weight is £5.50 and €8. But mind the trick: the baggage allowance of RyanAir is only 15kg, not 20 as the other two (and most traditinonal airlines on economy class) mentioned in this article.

I believe this service fee will make the people think about their hand-luggage and the liquids in those twice, as if they don’t comply with those regulations, they have to check-in their bags AND pay for them… (Another situation when a smart, educational gift by KLM would have an advantage, but obviously these low cost airlines will not offer anything like that.)

by balint01

“You don’t buy an airline, you buy the market”

A quotation from today’s news (resource: ATW Online)

CEO Alfred Oetsch said Austrian is facing growing competition on its routes to Eastern Europe and that in order to defend its critical Focus East strategy and “keep our position strong,” it will “consider whether to buy or take shares in one of the carriers in Eastern Europe.” He did not provide further details, but airlines from countries like Romania, Bulgaria or Moldova may be among the most likely targets. “You don’t buy an airline, you buy the market,” he said. AAG already holds 22% of Ukraine International Airlines and will increase its stake “whenever it is possible,” Oetsch revealed. “Just like we started our cooperation with AiRUnion, where we use Moscow Domodedovo as a hub, we would like to develop Kiev into a hub for us as well”

Mr Oetsch’s statement is a reaction on an earlier speech of Karim Makhlouf, CCO of Sky Europe who considered Austrian to be the weakest hub carrier in Europe, adding: “That is why we will attack them.”

Competition in the Central and Eastern European region is becoming stronger and stronger. Let’s analyze this situation a little bit deeper. First take a look at the allinace member airlines:

– Austrian Airlines (Austria): Member of Star Alliance, recently started cooperations with Air Union, the new owner of the neighboring country’s flag carrier, Malev

– Adria Airways (Slovenia): strategic partner of Star Alliance, emphasis is more on charter flights

– Croatia Airlines (Croatia): strategic partner of Star Alliance

– LOT (Poland): member of Star Alliance

If we take a look at a map, we will see that from geographic point of view Star Allaince’s weak point is the Eastern region: Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, ex-Soviet countries, especially the Baltic countries.

– CSA (Czech Republic): member of Sky Team

– Aeroflot (Russia): member of Sky Team

Sky Team’s strategy in the region is perfect. Geographcally this is the ideal situation for an alliance.

– Malev (Hungary): member of oneworld allinace, owned by Russia based Air Union

Oneworld’s weak point is also Eastern Europe – same situation as for Star Alliance. So the questions that can be raised here are: Which alliance will be supported by Air Union, who started cooperation with Austrian not long before they bought Malev? If Kiev is the target for Austrian, am I correct that this question has already been decided and Air Union will support oneworld? If Kiev is the target – are they approaching Aerosvit? Well, it would be a good decision from their side. But if their cooperation with Air Union will go on, I would prefer Moldavian Airlines (same owner as Carpatair) to Aerosvit.

Besides strong network carrier competition, there are also some low costs who try to gain market in the region. There is Sky Europe with hub in Vienna/Bratislava and Wizz Air with hub in Budapest and Katowice and recently Ryanair, Easyjet, Air Berlin and many other Western European low cost airlines have started operation in the area. Again there are uncovered territories such as Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Ukraine. Definately Ukraine is the biggest market among these and it has a good hb role as well: the ex-Soviet countries can be easily reached through Kiev. The situation is the same with Moldova, although there are language concerns when it comes to hub role in their case.

After all this we are excitedly wating for the next announcements of Mr Oetsch and we will see what markets they will buy.


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