Wizz Air warns of more losses if restrictions not lifted

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European budget airline Wizz Air warned of further losses in its current financial year, amid a slower-than-expected recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ultra-low-cost carrier faces another “transition year” as travel curbs linger on, Chief Executive Jozsef Varadi said on Wednesday, as the company posted a 576 million euro ($703 million) net loss for the 12 months ended March 31.

“Unless we see an accelerated and permanent lifting of restrictions we expect a reported net loss in full-year 2022,” Varadi said.

Wizz expects to fly around 30% of its pre-crisis capacity in its current first quarter, the Hungarian airline said, returning to full schedules only in its 2022-23 financial year.

The underlying full-year loss excluding fuel hedging deficits amounted to 482 million euros, Wizz said, on a 73% revenue decline to 739 million euros.

Liquidity stood at 1.617 billion euros as of March 31, with the company burning cash at a rate of 84 million euros for the last quarter. The cash and earnings numbers were in line with unaudited results published in an April 15 trading statement.

Photo: EPA-EFE/ROBERT GHEMENT