Wizz Air’s chief operations officer is stepping up into an expanded new role as the airline extends its network.

Diederik Pen, who joined the budget carrier four years ago, becomes executive vice president and COO from April 1.

The new position as a member of the airline’s executive team, will see with the airline’s chief flight operations officer and a number of other heads of functions as direct reports.

He will be based at the central and eastern European carrier’s Budapest operations headquarters.

CEO József Váradi said: “Diederik has played an important role in the successful delivery of significant growth and development of the business over the past four years.

“His promotion reflects the importance of a strong operations team to delivering 20% capacity growth in the current financial year and extending base operations to 28 cities in 15 countries in 2017, while maintaining best-in-class utilisation and flight reliability.”