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A Wizz Air A321 aircraft in the airline’s new livery. The carrier has expanded rapidly since the coronavirus pandemic began, as discussed in the AGLounge by Airline Geeks Podcast. (Photo: Wizz Air)

AGLounge News Recap: Wizz Air Rapidly Expands As Other Airlines Develop a Future

Thank you for reading the AGLounge News Podcast Recap. This article gives a brief look at this week’s episode of our news podcast. For our full analysis on each of these stories, you can listen to the AGLounge by Airline Geeks podcast on Spotify, Google Podcasts, or Apple Podcasts.

In this week’s episode of the AGLounge News podcast, we dive into three stories from different regions. We look at where different airlines and countries are in their recoveries from the coronavirus pandemic and, in Alitalia’s case, from a renationalization effort.

Our episode starts in South America. With AirlineGeeks writer Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio, we look at Panama’s decision to allow international operations and Copa Airlines’ revitalized foreign route network. We then expand outward to look at where other South American countries, like Argentina and Peru, stand with allowing international travel: while countries like Panama are bringing it back, other nations may not allow international flights again until 2021. We conclude our first segment by peeking at government aid in Central and South America and how it, or lack thereof, is impacting airlines’ operations.

We move from South America to Italy, where Italian flag carrier Alitalia is finalizing its restructuring plan after being renationalized. The carrier’s new plans must be approved by both the Italian Government and the European Union Commission to avoid bankruptcy. As part of its new plans, Alitalia is reportedly restructuring and consolidating its fleet to include Airbus A220s and A320s for regional and short-haul operations and Boeing 787s for long-haul operations.

Last, the episode moves on to Eastern Europe, where Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air is expanding rapidly. The airline has launched over 200 new routes and nearly a dozen new bases since April of this year. While the airline has previously relied almost exclusively on connecting Eastern Europe with Western Europe, it is looking to expand into new markets by scooping up routes and slots abandoned by full-service carriers since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Wizz is most notably looking to launch its new subsidiary, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, this year to connect Europe with the United Arab Emirates. The carrier is hoping to disrupt the market out of the UAE, which currently relies heavily on extravagant services from the likes of Emirates, Qatar and Etihad; Wizz believes that it can attract passengers who do not want to pay for expensive flights and are simply looking to get from Point A to Point B just as Ryanair and easyJet have in Europe.

John McDermott
John McDermott
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