Wizz Air, one of the fastest growing airlines in Europe, announced the winners and runners-up of the WIZZ Youth Challenge – the airline’s annual student competition, which calls on university students to demonstrate their business acumen, critical thinking and problem-solving skills by responding to a real-life business challenge set by Wizz Air’s leadership team.
This year, the WIZZ Youth Challenge received a record-breaking number of team entries, with over 1200 students signing up from across all 44 countries of the WIZZ network. The challenge for this year’s competition was to submit and present an innovative idea which could be integrated into Wizz Air’s sustainability strategy, to ensure WIZZ retains its position as Europe’s greenest airline.
Out of 220 teams, 24 were invited to Budapest to pitch their ideas to WIZZ Management for the semi-final of the competition. Semi-finalist teams came from across Hungary, Poland, Serbia, The Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, UK, Denmark and Latvia, and were tasked with presenting their ideas to a panel of WIZZ executives and independent experts.
The judges included Wizz Air’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Jones, and Chief Corporate Officer Marion Geoffroy, as well as sustainability expert Alexa Antal and Zsolt Ábrahám from CaseSolvers.
Four teams were selected for the final, but there could only be one winner. Team Goldsmith+, a group of students from the Corvinus University of Budapest and the Central European University in Hungary, took the top spot with a simple yet creative solution which offered passengers the opportunity to offset their individual carbon footprint through Wizz Air’s existing booking platform in a number of eco-friendly ways. The team’s idea also included the launch of an ecological foundation and a strategy for building an engaged and environmentally-aware passenger community of ‘Green Ambassadors’.
The lucky first place winners received the prize of unlimited travel on Wizz Air’s far-reaching network of 700+ routes to 152 destinations for a whole year. Second and third place teams have received free return travel to a WIZZ destination of their choice.
Stephen Jones, Deputy CEO and Managing Director at Wizz Air said: “The semi-final and final of the 2019 WIZZ Youth Challenge was a truly successful and inspirational event, where over 80 talented university students from across Europe had the opportunity to present their solutions to an important global issue, while receiving useful tips and advice from Wizz Air Leadership and sustainability experts.
“Sustainability is always top of the agenda at WIZZ and we are continuously searching for new initiatives to maintain our position as the greenest airline in Europe. When it comes to shaping the future of the environment and our airline, we believe there is a great amount to learn from future generations and we look forward to building these initiatives into our long-term plans.”
The Goldsmith+ winners said: “It was a great experience to participate in the WIZZ Youth Challenge 2019! The organisation was highly professional, the judges and staff were really supportive, and after participating in many other case study competitions, what stood out was the thorough feedback we received after every single round of the contest. We are grateful for the opportunity to participate, and for the incredible first prize – we are already planning our trips excitedly!”
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