Wizz Air posts a €576m year loss

Photo: EPA

The low-cost carrier Wizz Air warned that losses related to pandemic lockdowns and restrictions over traveling and tourism are still to come and are expected to grow bigger, Reuters reported. The budget airline said it faced another "transition year" as travel curbs linger on, Chief Executive Jozsef Varadi noted, as the company posted a 576 million euro net loss for the 12 months ended 31 March.

"Unless we see an accelerated and permanent lifting of restrictions we expect a reported net loss in full-year 2022," Varadi said. Despite the uncertainty, Wizz and low-cost peers such as Ryanair have used the crisis to add new routes as some of their traditional airline rivals retrench. The Hungarian carrier now has 43 aircraft bases operating or announced, compared with 25 before the pandemic.

It 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.

Wizz 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. The underlying full-year loss excluding fuel hedging deficits amounted to 482 million euros, Wizz said, on a 73% revenue decline to 739 million euros. Liquidity stood at 1.617 billion euros as of 31 March, with the company burning cash at a rate of 84 million euros during the entire last quarter. The cash and earnings numbers were in line with unaudited results published in an 15 April trading statement.

 

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