Hungary-based budget airline today reported record half-year profits on the back of a 20.4% increase in the number of passengers carried. Wizz Air continues to build on the market position – the low cos carrier signed a deal to buy 110 Airbus A321 Neo aircraft.
Rapidly growing low-cost airline said its pretax profit between April and of September rose 16.4% to €190.9 million, as revenue rose 15% to €836.4 million. What is more, Wizz Air reported 20.4% growth in passenger levels. The numer of customers carried in the first six months of its financial year increased to 10.65 million consolidating Wizz Air’s position as Central and Eastern Europe’s leading low cost carrier.
The budget airline reported a 34.2% jump in half-year underlying net profit (to €205.9 million). Like many other European airlines, Wizz Air pushed up its profit guidance in September. The airline said it expects to report an underlying net profit for the financial year ending 31 March 2016 in the range of €190 million and €200 million. This suggests the company will make an underlying loss of €6 million – €16 million in the second half of the year. This is nothing out of the ordinary – airlines tend to make losses in the autumn and winter before accumulating profits in the spring and summer.
József Váradi, Wizz Air Chief Executive said:
Our ultra-low cost model gives us a clear cost advantage versus most of our rivals, including many other low cost airlines, and as a result we are able to offer our passengers low fares and sustain a relatively high growth rate compared to other carriers.
The low cost airline that flies passengers around Central and Eastern Europe continues to expand rapidly. During the six month period its network has grew with the opening of two new bases and 38 new routes. Wizz Air now offers more than 390 connections to 39 countries from 22 bases.
In the first half of financial year the company added eight more aircraft, taking its total fleet to 63 Airbus A320, with an average age of 3.8 years, one of the youngest fleets of any major European airline. Fleet expansion continues – the Hungary-based airline has signed a deal to buy 110 new Airbus A321 Neo aircraft (plus purchase rights for an additional 90) providing growth capacity until the end of 2024.
The new aircraft will enable us to sustain our cost advantage through cabin innovations, the latest engine technology and other efficiency improvements, while enhancing our customer offering and experience. The agreement with Airbus also provides significant flexibility to match our fleet to our growth requirements, József Váradi said.