Coronavirus: Wizz Air capacity reduces by 30% as grounding of fleet remains “distinct possibility”

Wizz Air coronavirus

Wizz Air has seen capacity reduce by 30 per cent year-on-year for March 2020 considering the current travel restrictions across Europe to cope with the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent decline in demand for air travel.

The company continues to operate 15 per cent of its capacity and remains operational in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria, but the grounding of the entire fleet remains a distinct possibility as potential additional travel restrictions and social distancing policies issued by authorities are not being ruled out in the coming weeks.

Wizz Air chief executive, József Váradi, commented:    

“Our ever-disciplined attitude to cost and cash enables Wizz Air to take decisions that are right for crew, passengers and communities even in the context of demand and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. 

“Wizz Air’s ultra-low-cost business model and our strong balance sheet provide a solid foundation and a significant competitive advantage in the current challenging environment for airlines, while also making us a long-term structural winner in the aviation sector.”

However, Váradi warns that the situation is posing a significant threat on the aviation industry and Wizz Air is calling on governments to take non-discriminatory steps that will benefit all airlines.

“This will enable an industry and environment that is healthy, efficient and more environmentally sustainable and will serve passengers through enhancing the mobility of people,” he added. 

The low-cost carrier was forced to cancel more than 50 routes from Luton airport yesterday (25 March) because of the travel restrictions imposed across Europe due to the coronavirus outbreak. Services will be shut down until 1 May with the exception of a limited number of repatriation flights.

Wizz Air plans to resume all flights as soon as travel restrictions and governments revert to allowing commercial flights. 

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