Wizz Air flies to record results as it appoints Air New Zealand's Stephen Jones as its new deputy chief executive

Rebecca Smith
Wizz Air continues to fly
Wizz Air continues to fly (Source: Getty)

Wizz Air has reported record results, bolstered by high demand for travel in Eastern Europe and a solid Easter, as it named Air New Zealand's Stephen Jones as its new deputy chief executive.

Revenue rose 29 per cent to €469.3m (£415m) for the first quarter, while pre-tax profit rose 16 per cent to €60.5m. The carrier expects full-year profits to be at the higher end of its projected range of €250m-€270m.

Shares were up 3.28 per cent in afternoon trading.

Read more: Wizz Air passenger numbers rise over 20 per cent in May

Along with its results, the Hungarian airline announced a flurry of senior management shifts, with the appointment of Stephen Jones as executive vice president and deputy chief executive officer. He will take up his role during the latter part of 2017.

Wizz Air said Jones will be responsible for the airline's commercial, marketing and information technology organisations. He joins from his role as the chief strategy, network and alliances officer at Air New Zealand.

Wizz Air's chief executive Jozsef Varadi, said:

Stephen’s extensive and successful experience in numerous areas of airline management over many years will bring significant extra capacity to the company’s leadership team, as it continues to drive Wizz Air’s growth at a market-leading rate while at the same time remaining focused on delivering a great customer experience, maintaining our ultra-low cost base to become the undisputed cost leader among European airlines and continuing to deliver one of the best profit margins in the industry.

Meanwhile, Iain Wetherall has been promoted to chief financial officer and Heiko Holm to the newly created position of chief technical officer.

While Varadi said today's results were solid, he did urge caution due to "limited visibility" for the latter part of the year.

"As we have seen in recent history, airlines tend to compete away the benefit of lower fuel prices with extra capacity and therefore we remain cautious on the prevailing yield environment in the second half of this financial year, a period in which the company has very limited visibility," he said.

Read more: Wizz Air flies in the face of challenging conditions sending shares higher

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