Wizz Air eyes recovery next year

Photo: EPA

The low-cost carrier Wizz Air announced that toughest times linked to the pandemic downturn are already in the past but it still expects to fully recover from the coronavirus driven crisis next year as travel demand rebounds from the pandemic, chief executive Jozsef Varadi said. Speaking at the virtual Paris Air Forum, Varadi repeated recent comments that the Hungary-based airline would fly more seats this summer than it was flying two years ago before the pandemic struck.

"From my perspective, 2022 should be a fairly robust year in terms of delivering not just the volume of traffic but also the financial performance attached to it," he said. "I'm looking at 2022 as a year of full recovery for Wizz Air."

Despite the uncertainty, Wizz and low-cost peers such as Ryanair have used the crisis to add new routes as traditional airline rivals retrench. The carrier now has 43 aircraft bases operating or announced, compared with 25 before the pandemic. Wizz has also leveraged a strong cash position to continue acquiring new, more efficient jets that will sharpen its competitive edge in an eventual rebound. Its fleet increased by 16 aircraft to 137 at year end.

The airline said it expects to fly around 30% of its pre-crisis capacity in its current first quarter, returning to full schedules only in its 2022-23 financial year.

Speaking alongside Varadi, Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith said he had been pleasantly surprised at the demand among travelers visiting friends and family. "We are hoping to run about 60-65% of capacity this summer."

Similar articles

  • J&J booster jab raises effectiveness to 94%

    J&J booster jab raises effectiveness to 94%

    The pharmaceutical conglomerate Johnson and Johnson announced that a second shot of its Covid-19 vaccine given about two months after the first shot increased its effectiveness to 94% in the US against moderate to severe forms of the disease. That compares to only about 70% protection with a single dose, Reuters reported.

    19
  • BMW, Daimler face trials over carbon emissions targets

    BMW, Daimler face trials over carbon emissions targets

    German Daimler and BMW automotive producers found themselves under rapid legal fire over attempts to bring the two companies to court on charges linked to excessive carbon emissions. The heads of a German environmental NGO have sued both BMW and Daimler over their refusal to tighten carbon emissions targets and give up fossil fuel-emitting cars by 2030, Reuters reported. The NGO, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, confirmed that the lawsuits had been filed earlier this week.

    20
  • Boeing eyes large jet orders from European budget carriers

    Boeing eyes large jet orders from European budget carriers

    US Plane maker Boeing announced development plans based on increased demand for new jets on behalf of European low cost airlines. Boeing bets on Europe for the next 20 years, as airlines will have to replace their ageing planes with more fuel-efficient jets, Reuters elaborated. Boeing confirmed that it expected airlines in Europe to order 7,100 new single-aisle planes, mostly used for short haul trips, between 2021 and 2040, with low-cost specialists like Ryanair behind that demand.

    25