Wizz Air plans London IPO

Wizz Air, Eastern Europe’s biggest budget carrier, is set to launch an initial public offering in London.

The sale of the carrier may happen as early as the second half of this year, Bloomberg News said in a report. The carrier has appointed Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Company to manage the public issue.

Hungary-based Wizz Air has a fleet of more than 40 Airbus SAS single-aisle planes, flying more than 250 routes in Europe. The Airbuses have an average age of about three years, according to its website.

The no-frills carrier, created in 2003, is trying to double its traffic to 25 million passengers a year by 2020. Presently, it faces increased competition in some of its markets as Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest discount airline, adds more bases in Eastern Europe.

The airline uses Luton as its base in the UK. Wizz Air is currently backed by institutions including the German transport-focused bank DNV. With the IPO, the airline will join rivals such as easyJet Plc and Ryanair Holdings Plc, which are also listed in London.

On July 3, Wizz Air said that it was planning to introduce flights from Luton to Craiova in Romania. The route will operate to the southern Romanian city three days per week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from October 29. The airline already flies from Luton to the Romanian capital Bucharest twice per day.

The Wizz Air IPO comes at a time when companies including state-run U.K. postal service Royal Mail Group Ltd. and vodka maker Stock Spirits Group are planning to launch IPOs in London as global investors return to the market.