Europe’s fastest growing airline has announced enormous expansion plans in the Middle East.
From December, Wizz Air will launch 20 new services linking central and eastern Europe with cities across Saudi Arabia. Along with Wizz strongholds such as Bucharest and Budapest, other major European destinations including Vienna, Larnaca and Naples will benefit from the new non-stop links.
On the Saudi side, Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam will all see scheduled Wizz Air services. While the Hungarian firm already has a presence in the region, this latest round of expansion will rapidly accelerate its Middle Eastern footprint. The airline estimates the new Saudi routes will bring over one million additional travellers to the Kingdom in 2023 alone.
Jozsef Varadi, CEO of Wizz Air, said: “[This] announcement follows the Memorandum of Understanding we recently signed with the government enabling us to contribute to Saudi tourism’s growth and its entire ecosystem. I see the Kingdom as a long-term strategic market for Wizz Air where we will continue to innovate and carry the flag of low cost flying for the benefit of Saudi residents and visitors as well as the country’s diversifying economy.”
Headline fares for the new routes start at €54.99 one-way, a figure which is likely to spook more established legacy players. The services also represent a boost to Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ programme, which aims to triple the country’s passenger traffic by the end of the decade.
The bulk of the new routes begin in early 2023, however Vienna to Jeddah and Riyadh are due to launch on December 13 and 19 respectively. The inter-continental services are typically rostered twice-weekly, with a handful weekly and thrice-weekly links. Wizz Air operates an all Airbus fleet of A320 and A321 aircraft.
The full list of routes, frequencies and launch dates can be found below:
Budapest - Riyadh Monday & Friday 09/01/2023
Budapest - Jeddah Tuesday & Saturday 10/01/2023
Budapest - Dammam Thursday & Sunday 20/04/2023
Bucharest - Riyadh Monday & Thursday 09/01/2023
Bucharest - Jeddah Tuesday & Saturday 10/01/2023
Catania - Riyadh Tuesday & Saturday 18/04/2023
Larnaca - Riyadh Monday 17/04/2023
Larnaca - Jeddah Saturday 08/07/2023
Larnaca - Dammam Tuesday 04/07/2023
Milan - Jeddah Tuesday & Saturday 03/12/2022
Milan – Riyadh Thursday & Sunday 20/04/2023
Naples - Riyadh Tuesday 18/04/2023
Rome - Riyadh Tuesday & Saturday 06/12/2022
Rome - Jeddah Wednesday & Saturday 11/01/2023
Sofia - Riyadh Thursday & Sunday 20/04/2023
Tirana – Dammam Monday & Friday 17/04/2023
Venice - Riyadh Thursday & Sunday 20/04/2023
Venice - Jeddah Tuesday & Saturday 18/04/2023
Vienna - Riyadh Tues, Thu & Sat 19/12/2022
Vienna - Jeddah Tuesday & Saturday 13/12/2022