Higher passenger numbers drive Wizz Air to record profit

Higher passenger numbers drive Wizz Air to record profit

Wizz Air carried a record 34.6 million passengers in the year to March 31st, up by nearly 17 per cent on financial 2018.

At the same time, the low-cost carrier reported that net profit grew six per cent to a record €292 million.

József Váradi, Wizz Air chief executive, said: “The high economic growth rates across central and eastern Europe continue and the opportunities created by Wizz Air’s ultra-low fares saw our revenues increase by 20 per cent, load factors reaching 93 per cent and passenger numbers of almost 35 million up 17 per cent year-on-year.

“This was a very solid performance given the absence of Easter traffic which fell into the end of the last financial year, higher fuel prices and a challenging operating environment across the industry.”

Total revenue at Wizz increased to €2,319 million.

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The airline’s A320neo aircraft order started to deliver significant value in the fourth quarter of financial 2019, with the delivery of the first two A321neo aircraft. 

This milestone event led to a decrease in net expenses from €54.2 million in 2018 to €30.9 million in 2019.

The reduction was driven by credit items in 2019 totalling €44.5 million relating to various aircraft asset sale and leaseback transactions and certain supplier contract negotiations.

However, these items are not expected to recur to the same magnitude in the 2020 financial year. 

Váradi added: “In financial year 2019 the company consolidated its leadership position in central and eastern Europe and expanded in strategic western European markets such as Vienna and London.

“Wizz Air will supply more seats to the London-Luton market this summer than any other airline – a clear statement of our ambitions.

“We continued to drive efficiencies in our operations to deliver on our mission to become Europe’s undisputed airline cost leader, efficiencies include the inauguration of our state-of-the-art €30 million pilot and cabin crew training centre in Budapest.”

In contrast to a lot of European carries, who have issued concerns over rising fuel prices, slowing economies and the impact of Brexit, Wizz is also bullish on the coming year.

Váradi continued: “We remain very optimistic for the current financial year.

“Higher fuel prices are supporting a stronger fare environment and we expect these macro conditions to provide Wizz Air with market share opportunities as weaker carriers withdraw unprofitable capacity.

“Our ability to drive cost advantage further and offer low fares across our ever expanding network will lead to an expected 17 per cent increase in passenger numbers to 40 million in financial year 2020.”

Published at Fri, 31 May 2019 06:34:13 +0000