Wizz Air has indicated ambitions to fly longer routes with a move to add 20 new Airbus extended range aircraft to its fleet.

The Hungarian budget carrier is to exercise a part of its existing options for the purchase of Airbus A321XLRs through a 50 aircraft deal by shareholder Indigo Partners with the European manufacturer.

The present order will be delivered over the course of three years starting in 2023.

The A321XLR variant will carry 239 seats, the same as the A321neo to ensure full fleet commonality with Wizz Air’s existing fleet.

The XLR aircraft can also be utilised on Wizz Air’s existing network with the same efficiency, according to the carrier

Completion of the order remains subject to approval by Wizz Air shareholders. No value was disclosed.

The announcement will bring Wizz Air’s outstanding firm orders with Airbus to 276 aircraft for deliveries through to 2026.

CEO Jozsef Varadi said: “The A321XLR is the most cost efficient aircraft of its type and represents a significant opportunity for Wizz Air to further expand its network and connect points on the Wizz map that are currently out of reach, given the enhanced range capability of the aircraft.

“Today, we are flying a number of five-six hour routes with great satisfaction to our customers, so the XLR will extend our outstanding value and service proposition on routes of seven-eight hours of flying.”

He added: “The inherent aircraft economics of the Airbus A321XLR will widen our competitive advantage for stimulating demand for air travel in central and eastern Europe and beyond while minimising our environmental footprint.

“The A320neo family aircraft are game-changing aircraft that enhance Wizz Air’s low fare model and undisputed cost leadership in Europe.”