Wizz Air forecasts gradual travel recovery into late summer

Hungarian low cost airline Wizz Air (WIZZ.L) forecast flying would only recover gradually into late summer, as the travel industry enters a second year of pandemic restrictions.

Wizz Air said on Thursday it thought the pace of the travel recovery would pick-up as national vaccination programmes made progress in its key markets, which include Hungary, Britain, Poland and Italy.

The British government disappointed airlines and consumers last Friday when it failed to say when travel could restart and which countries would be on its green list of low-risk destinations.

Despite the ongoing uncertainty, competitor airlines easyJet (EZJ.L) and British Airways (ICAG.L) were upbeat on Wednesday that some travel would restart from May 17, the earliest date the UK has said is possible.

Wizz said the ongoing uncertainty meant it could not provide financial guidance for its new financial year.

“The start of the year ending 31st March 2022 continues to be marked by travel restrictions across our region and we expect only a gradual traffic recovery into late summer 2021,” the airline said.

For the 12 months to the end of March 2021, it said it would report an underlying loss of between 475 million euros and 495 million euros. It will report results on June 2.

Wizz, one of Europe’s strongest airlines financially, said it had total cash of 1.615 billion euros at its year end, meaning it can survive years without flying.

It burned through 87 million euros in the three months to the end of March and said it continued to focus on reducing costs. The airline recently replaced its flight operations chief after an investigation into how it made redundancies earlier in the pandemic.