Wizz Air Seeks to Expand Gatwick Hub

by birtanpublished on August 29, 2020

You told our own chris jasper in an interview that you want to aggressively expand at gatwick but that incumbents are blocking up spots unfairly do you think you'll be able to get those slots good morning i mean certainly this is

What we are pushing for in the uk as far as at european um commission levels uh we think it is unfair and it restores the market you know should the slot waiver get further extended into uh

Into the winter period as you know there is a slot waiver right now for summer and we think it should firmly end at the end of october and the market should decide uh who takes possession of these slots

And it shouldn't be decided administratively or politically yeah there's a use it will lose it principle behind this joseph but it's a complex web of sort of eu uh regulations and iata uh uh

Protocol who are you talking to to try and get the get the slots and the rules around them changed but at this point in time this is a decision imposed by the the commission the

European commission so we are talking to the european commission but we are also talking to our to national uh austerities uh in various countries including the united kingdom uh and

Certainly the rules approaching uh politicians if you think about this i mean an airport is a public property and the rights to use the airport should not be privatized to airlines uh you know for the sake of uh

Processing those slots without any intention to operate them if they can't operate then i think those two should be returned to the pool and uh should be rewarded with them can you confirm a ballpark figure of how

Much you want to expand joseph i mean you told chris 20 planes at gatwick within six to 12 months what's the bigger picture expansion look look like to you that's correct i mean if you look at our

Operations uh in london at this point in time we have 10 11 based aircraft pretty much flying goldberg traffic from london uh we have around 2022 airplanes

Coming in bound into into london so we would be looking at doubling that uh traffic over the course of the next three to four years and that said uh within the first six to 12 months

We would be ready to deploy around 20 aircraft should we be getting access to the airport and getting would it would a a good strategy for you joseph b to buy up failing airlines do you see

Any that you're interested in at this point uh possibly but you know i think it would if an adam decides not to use or is not able to use these loads

Those slots should be returned to the market and should be reallocated free of charge but of course we would be also ready to consider the transaction um so in expansion mode i'm assuming you

Don't have to cut any jobs uh have you have you had to during the coronavirus pandemic at all um do you plan to do any kind of restructuring we did at the beginning we had to

Address the uh the current weakness resulting from coronavirus i mean we had to take capacity significantly down and that's resulting in less

Labor requirements for running the business but we would be looking at adding that that labor component back to the system and we would be rehiring those people who we laid off

Uh on a pretty much on a temporary basis earlier this year can you quantify joseph how many jobs you had to cut and how much you want to build back up yeah so on a total company basis we uh

Laid over 1 000 individuals uh pretty much none in the uk i mean the uk remained totally intact during coronavirus times and we are running at full capacity

Uh in the uk as we speak uh but on a total company basis around a thousand people and we would be looking at rehiring these people uh going into the beginning of next year so

In the next five to six months we should be rehiring and recruitment mode i mean this seems quite amazing how are you able to run at full capacity in the uk

How are you able to expand so much as others are considering bankruptcy is this a a reflection of your balance sheet your route network why is it that you are seem to be

Operating in different conditions to other airlines well first of all i think we are not immune from the from the current crisis our business is affected by by the pandemic but

Mostly by the measures imposed by governments making travel quite unpredictable due to all these restrictions uh coming and and going but at the same time we have maintained our views on the future and

We are also looking at uh how to cut through the jungle and and how the market will work out for us post uh pandemic and and it's not only that we are

Saving and cutting and and and moving capacity around a short term but we are certainly looking at the long term and we are investing into new market opportunities the uk in particular has been very

Strong for uh for bizarre we are the lowest cost producer in the marketplace we have a very balanced traffic flying people in bound but also flying increasingly uh bridge southbound uh and uh and our

Uh very efficient business proposition has made a lot of sense to the market and we are and we are becoming more and more the preferred carrier in the uk as a result when you see um competitors

Bailed out or allowed to restructure i'm looking at the virgin story today um do you think that do you think this market is running with uh

An amount of competitive fairness that um makes makes it 11 level playing field joseph but you know we are we are clearly seeing two two major issues sir one is

That uh level playing field has been distorted um uh by governments uh by injecting a lot of uh financial uh resources into the industry and now more and more we are

Seeing governments becoming equity holders in airlines and that has never been good because uh governments become double-minded they don't only regulate the market but they are also having a party for an

Interesting one of the players and and that is that is not right and this is not good for the uh the industry and secondly we are seeing some other administrative measures

Uh being played into the game like this slot waiver uh measure which is really just preserving the status of preserving the inefficient uh incumbent carriers uh basically eliminating the opportunity

From uh newcomers more efficient airlines to come to the market and uh and compete it out so we are seeing actually quite uh some issues uh endangering uh the

Marketplace uh distorting the market and uh and and uh putting pressure on on the level playing field here you know the argument joseph from

Governments is that the incumbents that they bail out will continue to provide legs um you know between destinations that maybe aren't as profitable as uh or or

The or those legs that wouldn't be filled by an airline such as yours could you guarantee if you get those slots at gatwick that you're going to fly to cities

That the uk needs you to well absolutely i mean you know there is a process called public procurement so if there is a government interest in certain destinations they can procure the capacity

And they can legally contract the uh the operation of that other capacity i think the real difference between us and and income and carriers is that we carry a passenger uh at the third of their cost and simply they are unable to

Compete with us and as a result they become incredibly inefficient and the market is not really uh appreciating it any any longer uh especially shorter flying has has become

A community and people just want to go they want to have a hassle-free experience and they don't want to be ripped off and there are ways for governments to uh

To make sure that you know the country's interest or their political interests are fulfilled by procuring on a public basis and we could be one of the contenders as a matter of fact we are doing it in

Hungary

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