Budget airline Wizz Air reports plunge in profits

A Wizz Air flight to Robin Hood
A Wizz Air flight to Robin Hood
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Budget airline Wizz Air has reported an 87.7 per cent plunge in pre-tax profits to £1.6m for the three months to December 31.

Wizz Air, which is headquartered in Hungary, carried 14.9 per cent more passengers, at 8.1 million, and saw quarterly revenues rise 21.2 per cent to £448.4m.

Its load factor - a measure of how well an airline fills its planes - rose to 91.4 per cent from 89.4 per cent a year earlier.

The group also confirmed it has been granted a UK route licence to enable it to continue flying to non-EU destinations from Britain after Brexit.

It set up Wizz Air UK in May 2018 as part of Brexit contingency plans and said it was granted a UK route licence by the transport minister in its third quarter to the end of December.

Jozsef Varadi, Wizz Air chief executive, said: “The company maintains its net profit guidance range of between £236m and £262m for the full year, where we will be within this range will depend on the extent of March yield pressures which will be affected year-on-year given Easter falls after the financial year-end in April and external factors such as Brexit uncertainty.

“Wizz Air remains well on track to deliver its mission to be the undisputed ultra-low cost carrier in the industry as cost leadership positions the airline for disproportionate growth opportunities across central and eastern Europe and western Europe, and makes us an increasingly formidable business under any market circumstances.”