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Wizz Air racks up EUR 576 mln loss for pandemic business year

Transport

Hungarian low-fare carrier Wizz Air booked a EUR 576 million loss for its business year ended March 31, state news wire MTI reports, citing an earnings report published by the company.

Adjusted for exceptional expenses, that loss came to EUR 482 million.

Passenger numbers declined 75% to 10.2 million as pandemic restrictions weighed.

Revenue dropped 73% to EUR 739 mln.

CEO József Váradi said Wizz Air finished the business year with a cash position of EUR 1.617 billion, after burning through EUR 84 mln in the last quarter.

"We are cautiously optimistic about the recovery of the business, which has started later than what we would have liked as COVID-19 restrictions have remained in place longer than anticipated," he said.

Váradi said the business year started April 1 would "continue to be a transition year", adding that Wizz Air had been prepared "to be an even more formidable player and to take advantage of the next phase of market opportunities that await post-pandemic".

He said Wizz Air expects to fly "around 30%" of capacity in the first quarter of the new business year and is "resuming all cash contributing flying subject to government-imposed restrictions".

He added that Wizz Air expects to make a net loss for the full business year "unless we see an accelerated and permanent lifting of restrictions".

For the 2022/2023 business year, he said "we see a strong trading environment and we plan to operate our full capacity".

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