Wizz Air full-year losses grow

Transport

Hungarian low-fare carrier Wizz Air racked up a EUR 642.5 million loss in its business year ended March 31, widening from a EUR 576 mln loss in the base period, an earnings report published Wednesday shows according to state news wire MTI.

Revenue climbed 125% to EUR 1.663 billion as passenger numbers grew 166% to 27.1 mln. Load factor rose 14.1 percentage points to 78.1%.

Operating costs increased 79% to EUR 2.133 bln. Fuel costs jumped 157% to EUR 653.3 mln.

Entering the business year started April 1, Wizz Air said summer demand indicators are "excellent", supported by an urge to travel, improved household savings ratios in the airline's key markets, near-full employment, and wage inflation.

"At the same time we are conscious that the trading environment can quickly change prompted by the impact of inflation and quantitative tightening on consumer demand," it added.

Wizz Air CEO József Váradi said load factors were "around 85%" in the first quarter of the new fiscal year and are expected to be "above 90%" in the second quarter.

He added that the airline expects an operating loss for the first quarter.

"The airline industry remains exposed to externalities such as air traffic control disruption and continuing operational issues within the airport sector, adding to a volatile macro environment. As a result, at this point, we are not providing further financial guidance for the year," he said.

Wizz Air noted that it still has four aircraft, with a book value of around EUR 25 mln, in Ukraine, one in Lviv, and three in Kyiv. The airline said it wants to repatriate the aircraft "at the earliest possible opportunity".

Wizz Air finished its fiscal year with cash of EUR 1.379 bln.

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