Low-cost airline Wizz Air announced – today, Thursday – a larger than expected operating loss in the third quarter, as the company faces engine inspections that led to parts of its fleet stopping flying, and it was forced to suspend flights due to the Israeli war on… Gaza strip The conflict escalated in the Red Sea.
However, the airline maintained its net profit forecast for fiscal 2024 after a positive start to its fourth quarter ending in March. Its shares fell 6% by 09:10 GMT.
European airlines continued to report strong results on the back of continued travel demand, but the future outlook is unclear due to geopolitical instability, high jet fuel costs, and economic uncertainty.
Wizz Air was also one of the major airlines affected by problems with its RTX engines and said it would face a reduction in capacity as a result.
The operating loss of 180 million euros ($196 million) in Wizz Air’s third quarter – which ended on December 31 – was greater than the loss of the third quarter of last year of 155 million euros, due to the cancellation of flights.
According to a survey conducted by the London Stock Exchange Group, analysts expected a loss of 93 million euros.
“While the financial performance in the fourth quarter was materially affected by the suspension and diversion of Israel flights, we maintain our expectations for net profit for the fiscal year 2024,” Wizz Air CEO Joseph Varadi said in a statement.
The company stated in the statement that it will resume its flights to Israel in March.
There was no change in expected aircraft groundings during engine checks, with 40 aircraft scheduled to be grounded by the end of the 2023-2024 fiscal year. Operational capacity is scheduled to remain constant until the fiscal year 2024-2025.
Wizz Air decided at the beginning of this month to extend the suspension of its flights to and from Israel until next March.
The Hungarian company canceled all flights to and from Tel Aviv for another 3 months due to the lack of demand for travel to Israel and the threats surrounding aviation as a result of the ongoing war in Gaza, indicating that it will continue to monitor the situation on a regular basis.
It suspended most of its flights to and from Israel during the first days of the operation.Al-Aqsa flood“With the exception of operating a few irregular flights.
The official broadcasting authority stated that the airline’s decision meant canceling thousands of tickets for Israelis, adding that “under normal circumstances, the company was operating more than 100 flights a week to and from Israel.”
This company is considered a low-cost means of air transportation compared to other airlines, and it is the most prominent carrier for European travelers to and from Israel. Last October, it announced the suspension of its flights to and from Israel until the end of 2023 due to security tensions.
Wizz Air, headquartered in Budapest, is a low-cost airline and the largest airline in Hungary. It operates non-stop flights to nearly 100 satellite airports in 35 countries. These trips include countries across Europe as well as Israel and destinations in Africa and the Middle East.