Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, in partnership with Liszt Ferenc International Airport and the Budapest 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Bid, has supported the bid by decorating one Airbus A321 and one Airbus A320 aircraft of its Budapest fleet with unique livery.
The Budapest 2024 design elements reflect the waves of the Danube River that flows through the heart of the capital city, as well as the historic Statue of Liberty atop towering Gellért Hill.
The A321 Budapest 2024 livery design aircraft joined the fleet on November 24 and the A320 started operating on Thursday. Both aircraft will feature the Budapest livery for the entire duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Bid, until August 31, 2017.
The International Olympic Committee will announce in Lima, Peru, in September 2017 who will host the 2024 games: Los Angeles, Paris or Budapest.
Being the hometown airline of Hungary, Wizz Air has constantly expanded its operations in the country. It operates two bases in Budapest and Debrecen with 11 aircraft in the country and recently announced an additional aircraft to join the Budapest fleet from April 2017.
Wizz Air employs more than 1000 people in flight crew, cabin crew, office and supporting functions. Over the 12 months until October 31, it carried 3.4 million passengers on its low-fare Budapest routes, further supporting over 2300 local indirect jobs.
The airline has announced four new routes for 2017, to Faro in Portugal, Hanover in Germany, Bergen in Norway and Lamezia Terme in Italy.
Wizz Air CEO József Váradi said: “As an airline with its roots in Hungary, we are proud to contribute today to building and further promoting the Budapest brand internationally.
“Since 2004, when the airline took off for the first time, we have earned the loyalty and trust of close to 18.5 million passengers in our Hungarian route network, and this year we will achieve a record number of passengers per year ever carried by an airline to and from Hungary.
“Wizz Air’s Budapest aircraft with the Budapest 2024 livery design will help create international buzz and inspire people to visit Budapest, as we continue to grow capacity and expand our route network in Hungary.”
Budapest Airport CEO Jost Lammers said: “As a main sponsor of this historic bid, we are proud to welcome the new Wizz Air Budapest 2024 livery design to our airport, where it will be seen by hundreds and thousands of people from all around the world daily.
“Together with Wizz Air and the 10,000-strong community of employees at the airport, we will do everything to help the success of Budapest’s Olympic Bid. Our biggest contribution to this noble cause is our HUF 50 billion BUD 2020 airport development program, as well as our sport initiatives like the unique and successful annual BUD: Runway Run.”
Emese Szász, Olympic champion at the 2016 Rio Games in women’s épée fencing, said: “I have been to many international competitions and I feel that to host the Olympic Games in Budapest would be really special.
“Generally it takes a long time to travel between the Olympic village and the competition venues. On the contrary, in Budapest it would take an average time of 12 minutes between the different competition venues for the athletes… Then how much time would be left for everything else, to train, to prepare, to rest?
“For the fans, the Olympic Games in Budapest would be a great experience because in addition to the competition, they can learn about our amazing buildings and our gastronomy; they can feel the sport festival atmosphere – something we are famous for – and experience the bottomless enthusiasm of Hungarian fans.”
Balázs Fürjes, head of the Budapest Olympic and Paralympic Bid, said: “Budapest is experiencing a renaissance from every aspect. It is a city that constantly renews itself and is truly on the rise.
“Hosting the 2024 Games would speed up the economic catching-up of Budapest and Hungary by 25 years, and according to economic analyses of hosting the Games we would need to spend half a percent of the country’s budget between 2017 and 2024 for getting back three times as much within 15 years.
“To host the games we would only need to implement those developments that would be necessary even without the games, however hosting the Olympics would guarantee that these developments will indeed be finished.”