Wizz Air expects better-than-expected operating results in the fourth quarter of 2022 due to rising travel demand ahead of the summer season.
The Budapest-based budget carrier predicts an operating loss of €210-190 million (US$229-207 million) in Q4 2022, claiming a “solid balance sheet and excellent cash position” of €1.3 billion (US$1.4 billion) by year’s end.
Wizz had previously stated that the operating loss for the fourth quarter will be slightly larger than the third quarter. Wizz Air reported a €213 million (US$233 million) operating loss for the third quarter of 2021.
Wizz Air also expects a net loss of €652-632 million (US$711-689 million) for the whole year.
The financial year 2022 for the airline ended on March 31, 2022. On June 8, 2022, Wizz Air will disclose audited F22 annual results.
“In F22 the aviation industry continued to be impacted by COVID-19. The latest virus variant, Omicron, proved to be of benign nature, which helped to relax government travel restrictions across a majority of our network,” József Váradi, Wizz Air Chief Executive announced in a statement dated April 14, 2022.
“Distressingly, the crisis in Ukraine has dampened demand for air travel and destabilized commodity prices around the world,” Váradi continued.
Flights to Ukraine, Moldova, and Russia have been halted as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Wizz Air, on the other hand, stated that it was continuing to monitor the situation in these areas. The capacity that was affected was moved to other sections of Wizz’s network.
“Despite these developments, we are starting to see recovery take shape as we move closer to the summer of 2022. The strength of Wizz Air’s diversified and expanded network in combination with the most efficient fleet of aircraft and the execution against its proven ULCC model, will allow the pre-COVID-19 cost structure to be achieved – and in this industry lowest cost prevails,” Váradi explained.
In preparation for F23, Wizz Air will focus on increasing revenue and “returning to pre-COVID productivity levels.” During the upcoming fiscal year, the airline aims to be more profitable.
The airline also expects capacity to be 30% higher in the first quarter than in 2019, and more than 40% higher in the second quarter than in 2019.
“We have been encouraged by demand trends in recent weeks and given the shorter booking horizon expect the bookings for this summer to build significantly after Easter,” Wizz Air outlined in the statement.