Wizz Air swings to loss after 70% passenger plunge

Wizz Air (LON: WIZZ) has reported a €243.1m (£219m) for the six months ended 30 September 2020.

The budget airline carrier had a 70% plunge in passengers in the period, down from 22.1 million for the same six months the previous year.

Revenue at the group also fell by 71.8% from €1,670.8m to €471.2.

József Váradi, Wizz Air Chief Executive commented on the results: “Wizz Air distinctly outperformed the industry in the second quarter of the current financial year: we carried 5.8 million passengers at 66% load factor and 72% of our 2019 capacity against an ever-shifting backdrop of travel restrictions across all of our markets.

“Our ancillary revenues continue to increase on a per passenger basis, driven by a resilient performance of our core products. At the same time, our disciplined cost management allowed us to sustain our investment graded balance sheet with a total cash balance of €1.6bn.”

Wizz Air has warned that the upcoming quarter is likely to be a “challenging” one, amid the travel restrictions on top of the seasonal drop in travel.

“Notwithstanding the challenges that lie ahead of us during the remainder of this fiscal year, we have laid the foundation for a swift recovery: in addition to expanding into new markets, we intend to retain all our current staff base and thereby generate a head start for when demand returns,” said Váradi.

“We are confident we will emerge as a structural winner, enabling Wizz Air to grow profitably in the years to come.”

Over the past six months, the airline achieved significant expansion and added 13 new bases as well as 29 aircrafts.

Wizz Air shares (LON: WIZZ) have fallen 10% from a year high in February of 4,526.00p. They have since largely recovered and are currently trading at 3,498.00p (0815GMT).

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Safiya focuses on business and political stories for UK Investor Magazine. Her interests include international development, travel and politics.