Friday 2 July 2021 1:18 pm

Wizz Air 'offers chief exec £100m bonus' amid rapid expansion push

Wizz Air has reportedly offered its boss Jozsef Varadi an £100m one-off bonus if he can more than double the Hungarian carrier’s share price over the next five years.

The FT said that the low-cost airline had set up the bonus scheme in a bid to keep its chief executive in place amid a flurry of job offers for the 55-year-old.

Such a bonus would be one of the biggest ever payouts given by a London-listed firm, and would make Varadi the best-paid European airline chief.

In order to qualify for the award, he will have to increase Wizz Air’s share price from £48 to £120 over the next half-decade, with money to be paid in shares over a four year period.

He will also have to hit admissions and gender equality targets, the FT reported, citing documents circulated ahead of the airline’s upcoming AGM.

The offer underlines how keen the airline is to keep the airline’s founder, who has been responsible for its rapid expansion in recent years.

Even during the pandemic, when many of its competitors were closing bases and trimming routes, Wizz Air has continued to expand into new markets.

It recently launched a subsidiary in the Middle East, and has opened dozens of new routes over the past 12 months, including today two new routes to Barcelona and Cologne from July.

The impressive performance has attracted the interest of headhunters, with the FT reporting that Varadi had already received three job offers.

City A.M. has contacted Wizz Air for comment.

The reports come after Wizz Air said it had carried around 1.5m passengers this month, three times the number it managed in June 2020 when the pandemic was in full flow.

Shares in the firm were flat today.