Thursday, March 08, 2007

Polish Job Seekers Take (a) Wizz (Air)

The Wall Street Journal is running a great feature today by Dan Michaels on the way that mainly Polish job seekers have helped no frill airline Wizz Air to become a success. Wizz had targeted these emigrants almost from the start, helping it to develop a foothold in Poland and other East European countries before Ryanair and others figured out the game here.


There is one chart in the article I found very interesting. It shows the airline seat capacity between Poland and the UK. Big gains for Wizz and Ryanair, but a drop for the Polish national airline LOT. Sure, state carriers were late to the no-frills game, but in this case it's just another indication that LOT management, loaded with political appointees and weighed down by strong unions, is just not up for the challenge. Sure, it created its own low-cost unit, Centralwings, but it's an also-ran in a crowded field.

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