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Pandemic passenger volume plunge puts Wizz Air in the red

Hungarian low-fare airline Wizz Air booked a EUR 108 million loss in the first quarter of its business year started April 1, state news wire MTI reports, citing an earnings report posted on the London Stock Exchange.

Passenger numbers fell 93.2% to 707,184, while load factor declined 38.2 percentage points to 55.5%.

Revenue dropped 86.9% to EUR 90.8 mln. Ticket revenue decreased 92.2% to EUR 29.4 mln and ancillary revenue fell 80.3% to EUR 61.4 mln.

Wizz Air CEO József Váradi said the airline "maintains strong market and liquidity positions after the first quarter", noting that it was operating at around 70% of capacity at the end of June, compared to an average 11.5% in the first quarter, and it had a cash balance of around EUR 1.6 billion at the end of the quarter.

"We remain focused on gradually ramping up operations whilst protecting the health of customers and employees. Where needed we will be open to stimulate traffic, while protecting our strong cash position and minimizing cost," Váradi said.

"As the lowest-cost producer operating the youngest and most efficient fleet of aircraft, we are best positioned to double down on the opportunities that present themselves and further contribute to the vital mobilization and recovery of the economy in our markets. I believe Wizz Air will emerge as a structural winner post-COVID-19," he added.

Wizz Air said it is not in a position at present to provide guidance for the 2021 business year due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic.