Wizz Air Holdings Plc, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, today is providing an update on trading for the financial year ending 31 March 2020 (“F20”), following the evolving COVID-19 outbreak.
Demand for air travel within Europe in March 2020 has been impacted especially in those regions that are currently more affected by COVID-19. As a result, Wizz Air has made adjustments to its flight schedule between 11th of March and 2nd of April, primarily to Italian destinations.
The primary concern of Wizz Air is the health and wellbeing of our people and our customers. Wizz Air is partnering with the relevant authorities and is following the guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation and EASA to continue to ensure the safest operation.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Wizz Air has established a multi-disciplinary task force to maintain a highly efficient operation and drive further savings to address the financial implications of COVID-19. The Company’s actions have included significant reductions in overhead and discretionary spending, leveraging our highly dedicated staff across our network, allowing us to pause recruitment and non-essential travel, working with suppliers to reduce cost and an effective allocation of our assets to maximize return for the Company. Subject to further impact on demand from COVID-19, we are considering further adjusting network capacity in the magnitude of 10% in Q1 F21.
At this point in time it is difficult to predict the extent and the duration of the outbreak and the impact on the next financial year, however we remain confident that as the situation normalizes, Wizz Air will continue its highly successful trajectory.
The Company will provide a pre-close year end trading statement ahead of the Company’s full year F20 close period that starts on 1 April 2020.
József Váradi, Wizz Air Chief Executive commented: “Our ever-disciplined attitude to cost enables Wizz Air to partly offset some of the headwinds due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which have driven a temporary decline in demand and an increase in the cost of disruption as we put the well-being of passengers and crew first.
“Wizz Air’s ultra-low cost business model and our strong balance sheet and liquidity provide a solid foundation and a significant competitive advantage in the current challenging environment for airlines, making us a structural winner in the aviation sector in the long term.
“We are uniquely positioned for long-term value creation as Europe’s lowest cost, lowest emission airline and the market leader in the growing CEE market. The continuous rollout of the game-changing A321neo aircraft means that we will enjoy further cost improvements, while also ensuring Wizz Air is the most environmentally friendly choice of air travel for our passengers. We will continue to drive profitable growth in order to achieve one of the highest profit margins in the industry.”