Wizz Air summer capacity rises 40% above pre-pandemic levels

Wizz Air expects to operate 40% more capacity during the peak summer months than the same period in pre-pandemic 2019.

The projection by the eastern and central European budget carrier for the July-September quarter will follow a 30% rise between April and June.

The airline said it was ramping up operations and crewing for a busy summer flying programme while continuing to monitor the war in Ukraine.

Wizz Air expects to report a loss of as much as €652 million for the year to March 31.

In a trading update today, the airline said it expected an operating loss of between €190 million and €210 million in the final quarter of its financial year, ahead of previous guidance due to a “stronger trading environment”.

The company, which has a fleet of more than 150 aircraft, reported a strong liquidity position with a total cash/cash equivalents balance of €1.379 billion at the end of the 12-month period.

Wizz air said: “We have been encouraged by demand trends in recent weeks and given the shorter booking horizon expect the bookings for this summer to build significantly after Easter.

“We continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine, Moldova and Russia and whilst our flights to/from these locations remain suspended we have successfully reallocated the affected capacity to other parts of our network.”

The focus of the current financial year will be on “maximising revenue and returning to productivity levels seen during the pre-Covid years, that should result in improved profitability during this period”.

Chief executive Jozsef Varadi said: “In F22 the aviation industry continued to be impacted by Covid-19.

“The latest virus variant, Omicron, proved to be of benign nature, which helped to relax government travel restrictions across a majority of our network.

“Distressingly, the war in Ukraine dented demand for air travel and destabilised commodity prices across the globe.

“Despite these developments we are starting to see recovery take shape as we move closer to the summer of 2022.

“The strength of Wizz Air’s diversified and expanded network in combination with the most efficient fleet of aircraft and the execution against its proven ultra low-cost carrier model, will allow the pre-Covid-19 cost structure to be achieved – and in this industry lowest cost prevails.”

Annual results are due to be released on June 8.

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