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Wizz Air passenger numbers showing signs of recovery

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 02 Jul 2020

Wizz Air passenger numbers showing signs of recovery

(Sharecast News) - Wizz Air's fortunes looked to be starting to turn around on Thursday, as the low-cost airline reported an improvement to the Covid-19 related fall in passenger numbers seen in recent months.

The FTSE 250 low-cost airline said that for June, its capacity was down 74.7% year-on-year at 961,797 seats, while passengers were 86.1% lower at 502,253.

That made for a load factor of 52.2%, which was 42.8 percentage points lower than at the same time last year.

It was, however, an improvement on the figures seen in May, when much of Wizz Air's Europe market was under stricter coronavirus lockdowns.

The company's capacity in May was just 207,025 seats, with passengers in that month totalling 126,549.

On the operational front, Wizz Air said it continued to grow its network and improve its customer offering in June, opening three new bases, deploying nine aircraft, and launching 64 new routes.

In Bacău, Romania, it launched a new base with two aircraft and 12 new routes, and in Belgrade, Serbia, it added one additional aircraft, taking the base to three aircraft, and adding nine new routes.

There were seven new routes added to Bucharest in Romania, while a new base was opened in Dortmund, Germany, with three aircraft and 18 new routes.

In Larnaca, Cyprus, one additional aircraft was added, taking the base to three aircraft with five new routes, while in St Petersburg, Russia, a new base was opened with one aircraft and five new routes.

Finally, in Varna, Bulgaria, one additional aircraft was introduced, taking the base to three aircraft, with eight new routes added.

Wizz Air also introduced its first two Airbus A320neo aircraft during the month, powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines which deliver close to a 50% reduction in noise footprint compared to its previous generation aircraft.

In addition, the GTF engine reduced fuel burn by 16%, and nitrogen oxide emissions by 50%.

"Wizz Air continuously operates at the lowest carbon dioxide emissions per passenger kilometre amongst all competitor airlines, with 57.9 grams per passenger kilometre for the rolling 12 months to 30 June," the board claimed in its statement.

"For the month of June, emissions in grams per passenger kilometre were 64.3% higher due to the drop in load factor, while total carbon dioxide emissions in tonnes decreased in line with capacity."

At 0923 BST, shares in Wizz Air were up 2.31% at 3,419.3p.

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