Wizz Air Abu Dhabi (5W, Abu Dhabi International) will replace "most" of its current A321-200NX with A321-200s to minimise any potential issues Pratt & Whitney PW1133G-JM Geared Turbofan (GTF) engines may have in the Middle East, Wizz Air Holdings Chief Executive József Váradi said during the group's annual investor call.

"The GTF has performance problems mainly in a hot temperature, severe operating environment like the Middle East. And as a result, we decided that most of the Wizz Air Abu Dhabi fleet will get replaced with classic A321s. So we are derisking the GTF performance issues with that. Now that doesn't mean that the International Aero Engines V2500 engine operates the same way in Abu Dhabi as in Europe, which is considered to be a benign environment, but it means that it is a mature technology. So it is a lot less subject to unexpected breakdowns," Váradi said.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows the Hungarian LCC's Emirati joint venture currently operates eight A321-200NX and a single A321-200, which it added from Wizz Air (W6, Budapest) at the end of May 2023.

The group plans to increase its Abu Dhabi International-based fleet to 15 aircraft in the near term.

Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Ian O. Malin underlined that while the UAE is an important market for the group, in terms of the fleet size, it has a limited share in the greater scheme of things.

Váradi conceded that while the PW1133 engines has had teething problems, they are "manageable" on a group level.

"Maybe the manufacturers were too eager to come to market, and they should have done more testing and more maturity themselves. They kind of outsourced all these diseases to the industry, but that's what it is... In terms of GTF operation in Europe, I think it's not perfect, but it is manageable. We are probably the one airline in the world that has not been grounding aircraft because of engines. I think everyone has started grounding because of running out of spares, but we have stocked up on spares on the one hand. And I think the way we have been allocating and operating the engines, maybe with some luck, we have been able to maintain operational integrity without grounding aircraft, and I hope we can maintain it that way," the CEO said.

The airline's European AOCs in Hungary, Malta, and the United Kingdom operate eighty A321-200NX with PW1133 GTF engines and six A320-200Ns with PW1127 powerplants, as well as a total of eighty-six A320ceo (A320-200s and A321-200s) with IAE V2500 engines.