Wednesday 28 July 2021 8:49 am

Wizz Air bullish on summer recovery despite €114m loss

Low-cost carrier Wizz Air reiterated that it would return to pre-pandemic levels of flying over the summer months after falling to a €114m loss in the first quarter.

The Hungarian airline, which flew at just 33 per cent capacity in the first period due to continued travel restrictions across Europe, said it expected to hit 100 per cent of pre-Covid capacity in August.

Shares in the firm rose 3.5 per cent in the first hour after markets opened this morning.

For the three months ending in 30 June, it flew almost 3m passengers, four times the number it carried in the same period last year.

Likewise, with restrictions easing across the continent, revenue jumped from €90.8m to €199m over the quarter.

Wizz Air chief executive József Váradi said that the carrier was now preparing for the busiest part of the summer, as school holidays begin and people head off on vacation.

“We have now entered a busy part of the summer, ramping up our operations to meet increased demand whilst maintaining operational flexibility to deal with evolving travel restrictions as a result of Covid-19 developments, particularly with respect to new variants”, he said.

“In July and August 2021 we expect to operate around 90 per cent and 100 per cent of our 2019 capacity, respectively, making Wizz Air the first major European airline to fully recover capacity to pre-Covid-19 levels.”

The results come amid reports that the UK government will remove quarantine requirements for all EU and US citizens who have been fully vaccinated.

Unlike many carriers, Wizz Air has continued to expand its operations during the pandemic. Over the quarter it opened new bases in Rome and Naples, and added a number of services on popular leisure routes. It now has 141 aircraft in its fleet.