Thursday 28 January 2021 7:39 am

Wizz Air dives to €116m loss as lockdown restrictions continue to bite

Budget carrier Wizz Air dived to a statutory loss of $116m (£102m) for the third quarter as further restrictions poured yet more pain on the aviation industry.

The Hungarian flier said that revenue plunged 76 per cent in the quarter, falling back to €149.9m.

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It carried just 2.3m passengers across the three-month period, almost 80 per cent down on the 10m it carried the prior year.

Wizz Air said that its cash balance stood at €1.2bn. It also recently enhanced liquidity with a €500m bond issue.

Chief executive József Váradi said the carrier was focused on emerging from the crisis as a “structural winner”.

He added: “Our ambition is to fully restart our operations as soon as travel restrictions reduce, at all times protecting the health of customers and employees.” 

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Over the course of the last year, Wizz Air has opened 14 new bases, as well as a new subsidiary in Abu Dhabi.

The airline is one of very few to have bolstered its fleet during the pandemic, which has seen many carriers offload or retire aircraft.

Jack Winchester, analyst at Third Bridge, said: “The experts we’re speaking to are consistently bullish on Wizz Air’s prospects against its European competitors.

“Wizz Air has a best-in-class cost structure, it has been able to flex capacity effectively, and it has been profitable at lower load factors than many of its peers.

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“Wizz Air’s management continues to roll out an aggressive expansion plan. With historical roots in the Eastern European business, Wizz Air has announced a slew of new base openings in 2020 and aims to become the biggest carrier at Gatwick within five years.”