Central and Eastern European LCC Wizz Air will add two more Airbus A321s to its Vienna, Austria base in early 2019, bringing the total number of aircraft based there to five. The five aircraft will offer 17 new routes. In 2019, the number of routes will rise to 27.

Wizz Air said it will invest $570 million in the Vienna base, which will create more than 200 jobs. During 2018, the LCC plans to offer 450,000 seats from Vienna on up to 69 weekly flights. The number of seats will increase to two million in 2019.

From February 2019, routes from Vienna include 3X-weekly Catania (Italy), 4X-weekly Lisbon (Portugal), 3X-weekly Madrid Barajas (Spain), daily Milan Malpensa (Italy), and 4X-weekly to Nice (France).

Starting in March 2019, the network from Vienna will include 4X-weekly services to Malmo (Sweden), 3X-weekly Reykjavik (Iceland) and 4X-weekly to Stockholm Skavsta and 3X-weekly to Kharkiv (Ukraine).

“You need to scale up quickly to gain market share—that is what we have learned—like we did at London Luton. In total, Wizz Air flies to 146 destinations across Europe,” CCO George Michalopoulos told ATW in Vienna. “Vienna is a market that hasn’t grown for many years.”

He believes the Wizz Air brand is quickly becoming known in new markets. “We were accepted pretty quickly with low fares, especially in a high-fare market like Vienna. Wizz Air has become the second largest airline group in Vienna after Lufthansa,” Michalopoulos said.

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at