By Ben KilbeyAs the industry continues to consolidate and mergers increase Wizz Air, the leading CEE based low cost airline, and UK based OctopusTravel.com have announced that, from today, May 1, they will form a strategic alliance.
ÊAs a consequence, customers booking flights with Wizz Air will be offered the opportunity to book hotel accommodation and other travel related services, such as sightseeing and private transfers through OctopusTravel.com.
From the outset, OctopusTravel will provide links to a co-branded web site and a dedicated telephone number for Wizz Air’s passengers. This is exciting news for online consumers.
The agreement envisages a growing relationship between the two companies over the coming few years, as Wizz Air increases the frequency of flights, expands its services to new destinations and opens new bases. The airline, which commenced operations in May last year, aims to carry 2 million passengers in 2005 on its European network. Today Wizz Air operates from Katowice, Warsaw and Gdansk in Poland and Budapest in Hungary to 17 European destinations on 32 routes.
Natasa Kázmér, Communications Director, Wizz Air, said: “The enlargement of the EU has given a new low cost low fare airline such as ours, a substantial increase in travel between Hungary, Poland and the original EU states. Movement of people is now muchÊ freer than it was a few years ago and over the past year we have seen a great deal of enthusiasm for low cost flights between Hungary, Poland and the major cities in Western Europe. Wizz Air’s record number of 1 million passengers carried over the last 11 months demonstrates growing demand for Wizz Air product and low fare travel.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Hungary and Poland have the most Travel & Tourism GDP and jobs to gain from joining the European Union. Hungary’s latent Travel & Tourism potential totals an additional US$22.8 billion in Travel & Tourism Economy GDP and 901,000 Travel & Tourism Economy jobs. Poland’s latent Travel & Tourism potential totals an additional US$ 23.3 billion in Travel & Tourism Economy GDP and 1.5 million Travel & Tourism Economy jobs.
Natasa Kázmér, Communications Director, Wizz Air, continued: “We are continuously upgrading our services. Thanks to this deal with OctopusTravel.com, we will be able to offer our customers a one-stop shop service embracing a vast selection of hotels in all our major destinations - from large five star deluxe properties to boutique hotels, villas and apartments - plus private transfers, sightseeing, destination guides in several languages and more.”
Polona Watts, Partnership Manager - Global Solutions, OctopusTravel, said: “Since EU Enlargement, it has become easier to forge a relationship in Eastern Europe where there is a great sense of confidence and optimism.Ê It has been a pleasure identifying synergies between our Companies and turning the concept into reality.”
Daniela Wagner, International MD, OctopusTravel.com concluded:
“We are delighted to be working with WizzAir, which is a very dynamic new player in the market. This new alliance will significantly enhance our reputation in a part of the world that promises strong and sustained growth in the Travel & Tourism sector.”