Passengers flying with Wizz Air grew by almost 22% to 1.4 million in February.

The year-on-year increase came as the eastern and central European budget airline raised capacity by 18% to 1.6 million seats.

The load factor for the month rose by 2.6 percentage points to 86.4%. February’s figures saw annual carryings rise by 19% to 22.3 million passengers.

The carrier is to open its 24th base in Kutaisi, Georgia, in September in addition to the start of nine new routes from Hungary, Poland and Georgia.

Wizz Air also revealed it has appointed Sonia Jerez Burdeus, formerly of Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling, as chief financial officer.

She will join Wizz Air on June 1 having been CFO for Vueling since 2011.

She was also a member of the founding management team of Clickair and was its finance chief from 2006 to 2008 when Clickair merged with Vueling.