DALLAS – European Ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) Wizz Air (W6) has revealed that it expects to return to profit by the end of this financial year. It is now forecasting a net profit of between €350 to €450 million (US$375m-US$482m). Its previous forecast was for a net profit of around €343m (US$367m).
The airline said this was thanks to growing passenger numbers, which almost doubled to 51 million with an average load factor of 87.8%. Capacity was also up by over 75%, and it plans to increase this by 30% over the coming year.
Its full-year operating loss to March 31, 2023, remained flat at €467m (US$500m), while it managed to reduce its net loss by 17% to €535m (US$573m). This was despite fuel costs increasing by over 60% year-on-year.
Jozsef Varadi, Wizz Air group CEO said that the airline had seen significant growth as it emerged from the pandemic. “The effects of fuel price increases and structural capacity issues at airports remained features throughout the year, but we are mitigating these through decisive actions which helped to improve ex-fuel cost performance,” he added.
It has also invested heavily in its operations to better prepare for the forthcoming summer season. Extra pilots and flight attendants have been hired, and the ULCC now has more spare aircraft and spare parts available.
In terms of its fleet, Wizz Air also revealed that it expects to grow its Airbus A230 family of airliners to over 200 during the next 12 months. Currently, it has 179 jets in its inventory. It also has a firm backlog of 365 aircraft on order, and its expansion will take it to a fleet of 208 by the end of this financial year. It will also introduce more Airbus A321neos, used to replace the older, smaller A320s. It also has 47 of the longer-range A321XLRs on order.
Featured Image: Wizz Air Malta Airbus A321neo 9H-WAW. Photo: Dominik Csordás/Airways.