As the outbreak of the COVID-19 resulted in spiraling demand and government-imposed travel restrictions, Wizz Air, one of the largest low-cost carriers in Europe, is grounding up to 80% of its fleet, while parking 100% of its planes remains a “distinct possibility”.
The airline’s capacity, compared to March 2019, is reduced by 30% year-on-year, with up to 85% of the fleet grounded. Wizz Air continues to operate 15% of its total capacity. The only three countries the airline operates are Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.
However, the low-cost carrier does not rule out grounding its entire fleet, something that remains a “distinct possibility” as governments could potentially issue new travel and social distancing legislations, which would “make international flying for commercial purposes either untenable or impossible,” stated the airline’s release.
While the airline is one of the most well-prepared carriers in Europe to face the crisis in terms of its cash liquidity that equals 48% of its total revenue in 2019, according to data published by Centre of Aviation (CAPA).
Nevertheless, Wizz Air, like many others, was forced to enroll a cost-cutting program, including voluntary hour reduction and leave options for employees and the company’s board and executive foregoing their salaries for the upcoming five weeks.
The Chief Executive Officer of Wizz Air József Váradi stated that while the company does have a strong balance sheet, the current situation is “posing a significant threat on the aviation industry and we call on governments to take non-discriminatory steps which will benefit all airlines.”
Wizz Air is set to release its FY2020 financial results on May 21, 2020.