Wizz Air to trim summer fleet utilisation by 5%

Wizz Air is to trim fleet utilisation by 5% in the summer peak to counter “external disruptions”.

The action was disclosed as the eastern and central European low cost carrier revealed that an unrealised foreign exchange loss of €136 million contributed to a net loss of €450 million for the three months to June.

The airline was affected in the quarter by lower aircraft utilisation and pricing pressures in addition to flight disruption as revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) fell by 10%.

Fares were down by 12% over 2020 although ancillary revenues for the quarter rose by 14%.

The strength of the dollar at the end of the quarter compared to the start of the period drove the unrealised forex loss, according to the airline.

However, Wizz Air insisted its liquidity remains strong with a cash balance at the end of the quarter improving to around €1.57 billion.

The carrier expects a “material operational” profit in the peak July-September summer quarter as revenue and pricing momentum continues to improve.

Load factors from July have improved to more than 90% and the fare environment remains strong, with industry capacity reducing and consumer demand strong over the summer, Wizz Air added.

“To be able to avoid cancellations and secure a more punctual operation to our customers, we have further improved the agility and resilience of our network including adjusting schedules where we have seen a higher occurrence of issues, e.g. slot allocation issues, turn-around timings,” the airline said.

“In total for the peak summer period we expect to reduce utilisation a further 5% versus the plan outlined at the full year results to reduce the impact of ongoing external disruptions.”

The update came ahead of a first quarter earnings release on July 27.

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