By Edward Thicknesse cityam.com
Wizz Air came back down to earth with a bump this morning as the firm braced itself for a net loss of up to €590m for the full financial year.
The Hungarian flier warned that it did not expect traffic to pick up until late in the summer due to continued restrictions across its core European markets.
Throughout the pandemic the budget airline has been held up as one of the aviation industry’s few relative success stories, but today’s update sees it join fellow carriers Easyjet and Ryanair in racking up a hefty loss.
On an underlying basis, Wizz Air is anticipating a loss of €475m – €495m, including €95m in discontinued fuel hedges.
However, the carrier said it still had €1.6bn in cash, having taken a number of steps to shore up its finances over the last quarter.
With a lack of clarity as to when travel would kick off in full across the continent, Wizz Air said it would seek to allocate its fleet as and when opportunities arise.
It said that due to the expansion it had pursued over the last year, it was well set for success when air transport returns.
Chief executive József Váradi said: “Despite the continued impact of the pandemic, we are well-prepared with one of the strongest balance sheets in the airline industry, flying one of the youngest and most efficient fleets and having a well-defined, proven business model.
“Our agility and relentless focus on costs and cash are significant competitive advantages.
“Our network expansion and the investments we have made in our fleet over the past 12 months ensures we are well placed for a return to normal operations and we are convinced we are now even better positioned to be a structural winner in the European aviation sector.”