With people oftentimes correlating price with quality and safety, and with Wizz Air offering some of the lowest fares in Europe, it’s no surprise I am asked every now and then whether it’s a safe airline to fly with.
The short answer to the question is yes, Wizz Air is safe. It operates a modern fleet, it never had a fatal accident, and it is, arguably, as safe as any other airline based in the European Union.
For the longer answer including some of the reasons for the above, continue reading.
Wizz Air Operates a Modern All-Airbus Fleet
One of the things that many people tend to associate with safety of an airline is the age of aircraft that it operates. While those two are not necessarily correlated, even if they were, you wouldn’t have to worry.
Just like many other low-cost airlines that rely on modern and fuel-efficient aircraft to keep their operating costs down, so does Wizz Air.
Currently, the backbone of Wizz Air’s fleet are Airbus A320ceo and A321ceo aircraft. It operates 72 airframes of the former and 41 of the latter. The airline’s oldest A320 was delivered in 2007 and its youngest one in 2014. As for the A321s, those were delivered between 2015 and 2019.
Besides the two types above, Wizz Air also has seven A321neos in its fleet. Including those, the average age of the aircraft in its fleet is just 5.7 years.
With over 170 A321neos still on order – and 70 A320neos and 20 A321XLRs expected to be delivered by 2026 – Wizz Air will be able to keep its fleet young, modern, and safe.
Wizz Air Is Fully Certified by European Authorities
Being based in Hungary, a member of the European Union, Wizz Air hold’s the country’s air operator’s certificate and must adhere to the Union’s high safety standards. It also has a subsidiary in the United Kingdom, Wizz Air UK, which holds a separate air operator’s certificate issued by the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority.
While I don’t think airlines with lower ratings are necessarily unsafe, it’s also worth noting that Wizz Air has the highest possible, seven-star safety rating on AirlineRatings.com. What that means is that:
- Wizz Air is IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) certified. The audit is optional and assesses whether an airline has the necessary systems and processes in place to operate safely.
- Wizz Air is not blacklisted in the European Union and the United States.
- Hungary performed favorably in the ICAO Country Audit which looks at a country’s airline regulations from the safety perspective. More specifically, it performed well in six of the eight criteria: legislation, organization, licensing, operations, airworthiness, accident investigation, air navigation service, and aerodromes.
- Wizz Air didn’t have a fatal accident in the last 10 years.
Even though the airline used to have a subsidiary in a country that didn’t perform well in the ICAO Country Audit only meeting two of the eight criteria – Wizz Air Ukraine – the subsidiary has been shut down.
It seems like Wizz Air plans to relaunch the subsidiary in the near future, though. Then again, just because the country doesn’t meet all of the ICAO Country Audit criteria doesn’t mean all airlines (or any airline) in that country are unsafe to fly with.
Wizz Air Incidents and Accidents
By this point, you should be pretty confident that you are in safe hands flying with Wizz Air. The airline operates a young fleet, has all the necessary certifications, and hasn’t had a fatal accident in the last ten years. How about other incidents and accidents, though?
The only noteworthy incident the airline has had so far took place on June 8, 2013. On that day, Wizz Air flight 3141 from Bucharest to Rome Ciampino had to divert to the Italian capital’s larger Fiumicino airport. It had to do so as the A320 that operated the flight had troubles locking its landing gear into position and so, the pilots wanted to utilize the longer runway at the city’s main airport.
After landing, the flight was met by firefighters who took precautionary measures, and the passengers were evacuated using the emergency slides. Luckily, though, there were no injuries.
How Can Wizz Air Be Both Safe and Cheap?
Just like any other airline – regardless of whether it considers itself a low-cost or legacy carrier – Wizz Air has to adhere to the regulations of the country it is based in, as well as – to an extent – those of the countries it flies to.
Besides that, being a low-cost airline that relies on keeping costs as low as possible to provide passengers with cheap fares, it is in Wizz Air’s best interest to keep their fleet modern and well-maintained.
After all, maintenance tends to cost more on older aircraft and aircraft that break because of lack of maintenance are aircraft that are not flying. In turn, aircraft not flying are aircraft not generating revenues – something that low-costs which rely on quick turn-around times and maximizing aircraft utilization cannot afford.
Instead, just like other low-cost airlines, Wizz Air relies on making profit by keeping costs low without sacrificing safety (i.e. not offering drinks, having a single-type fleet, etc.) and by maximizing ancillary revenues (selling drinks and food onboard, selling priority boarding, selling seat selection, etc.)
Summary: Is Flying with Wizz Air Safe?
My personal view is that any airline that is certified to operate in the European Union is safe. Some might be safer than others, but the odds of something going wrong with any of them are so small that I don’t think it makes sense to compare them.
However, at the same time, I understand where your worry comes from. Hopefully, the above has shown you that Wizz Air is, indeed, a safe airline to fly with. In spite of its low prices which it offers through other strategies, not by compromising safety.
Wizz Air operates a young fleet of Airbus A320 series aircraft, it has all the necessary (and even optional) certifications, and it never had a fatal accident.
While it had to once make an emergency landing which resulted in the passengers having to evacuate the plane using slides, the crew managed the situation professionally and no one was hurt in the incident.