Wizz Air H1 Losses Grow as Fuel Costs Soar


Photo by Wizz Air

Hungarian low-fare carrier Wizz Air racked up a EUR 384.3 million loss in the first half of its business year started April 1, widening from a EUR 120.9 mln loss in the base period as fuel costs jumped, an earnings report shows.

Revenue rose 149% to EUR 2.194 bln as passenger numbers increased 112% to 26.5 million. Total operating costs rose 142% to EUR 2.258 bln as fuel costs jumped 302% to EUR 1.033 bln.

Wizz Air paid an average USD 1,279.4 per tonne for fuel, including hedging impact and into-plane premium, in the first half, 95% more than in the base period. Fuel consumption rose 87% to 760,851 tonnes during the period.

Payroll costs climbed 86% to EUR 180.3 mln, lifted by new hires as Wizz Air ramped up capacity.

Wizz Air CEO József Váradi said the airline is "on track" to returning to pre-pandemic utilization levels in the spring of 2023. Wizz Air will also be "leveling the playing field" on fuel costs from April 2023 as it returns to the systematic hedging of jet fuel and ETS credits, he added.

"Whilst there remains some uncertainty during the winter period in relation to macroeconomic and input costs, the combination of a return to proven levels of both ex-fuel and fuel [cost per available seat kilometer] in April 2023, and the continued diversification and growth of our network supported by fleet expansion plans leaves the company well positioned to drive profitable growth in the future," Váradi said.

Wizz Air had cash of EUR 1.63 bln at the end of the first half.

The company's fleet grew to 168 aircraft in the first half. The aircraft have an average age of 4.6 years, making the fleet one of the youngest among big European airlines.

Wizz Air noted that it had successfully repatriated one of its aircraft that was based in Ukraine. The remaining three aircraft are "in sound technical shape and efforts to return these to service are underway", it said.

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