The fact that many airlines are struggling because of the coronavirus crisis is obvious. Most companies are trying to ensure that their staff remain by placing them on furlough; unpaid or reduced-salary indefinite leave. For some, such as Wizz Air, this is not always possible.
Wizz Air, like many other airlines, has had to downsize its operations as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Ticket sales have virtually stopped. Many countries are imposing restrictions that make it difficult or impossible to enter or leave a country. The Hungarian low-cost airline has parked 90 out of 111 of its aircraft so far; 55 Airbus A320s and 35 Airbus A321s; 21 are being used for repatriation.
Wizz Air has made the difficult decision to dismiss no less than one-fifth of its staff; approximately 1000 employees. However, the operator needs to make additional savings. For example, the salaries of the board members will be cut by 22% and pilots, office staff and cabin crew will lose 14%.
In further cost-cutting measures, the lease contracts for 32 aircraft will not be further extended but the 270 orders for the Airbus A320neo will remain since Wizz Air fully intends to continue with its growth strategy, including the Abu Dhabi start-up and is looking forward to a 15% growth once the situation normalises.
Finally, CEO Jozsef Varadi announced that the company closed the financial year with a net profit of 280 million euros. He also expects that after the coronavirus outbreak people will fly again as before, but a new record will only be set in 2022.
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