Get the app today! Download iPhone App Download Android App

SUBSCRIBE

Wizz Air Says Its Passenger Numbers Increased In July

Published on Aug 6 2021 12:00 PM in General Industry tagged: Wizz Air / Air Travel / Airline Industry

Wizz Air Says Its Passenger Numbers Increased In July

Hungarian low cost airline Wizz Air said it carried 62% more passengers in July compared to the same month last year, as a travel recovery takes hold in Europe. The airline said it flew 2.96 million...

Hungarian low cost airline Wizz Air said it carried 62% more passengers in July compared to the same month last year, as a travel recovery takes hold in Europe.

The airline said it flew 2.96 million people on planes which were 79% full.

Ramped Up Capacity

Wizz Air is expecting capacity to ramp up to between 90% and 100% of pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels in July and August as summer demand for European travel grows.

"Continental Europe has been more open for travel and as a result, demand has reacted much quicker and much more robustly for summer," Wizz Air chief executive Jozsef Varadi told Reuters.

Wizz Air shares jumped 6% to 4,927 pence on the positive summer outlook.

They were also boosted by Varadi saying that Wizz could surpass its pre-pandemic size by the end of the year depending on how restrictions pan out.

"We should be getting well above 100%, and personally, I would hope that we will get there before Christmas," Varadi said.

Wizz did not provide any more detailed guidance, citing the unpredictability of the pandemic.

Varadi said that staffing levels were ready to respond to the pick-up in flights.

Wizz said that bookings from elsewhere in Europe were outpacing those from the UK

The UK usually accounts for approximately 15% to 20% of Wizz's business.

The airline has expanded from its eastern European base both west to Britain and Italy, and east into Abu Dhabi, and continued to add new aircraft during the pandemic, when many competitors have cut their fleets.

For the three months to the end of June, Wizz's first quarter period, it flew 33% of its pre-pandemic capacity, a total of 2.95 million people, and reported an underlying net loss of €118.7 million.

Sees Off Investor Revolt Over Bonus Plans

In other Wizz Air news, the Hungarian budget airline survived an investor protest against its plan to pay its chief executive a bonus of up to 100 million pounds if he hits targets, although a third of shares voted were opposed.

The airline's board has said the bonus proposal is needed to help retain Varadi, whom it calls "the leading global airline CEO".

It wants to him to sign a new five-year contract.

Several shareholder advisory groups had urged investors to vote against the proposals on future bonuses, calling the maximum payout excessive.

One third of shares (33.2%) voted were cast against the directors' remuneration policy, while 32.44% of votes opposed the bonus plan.

Under the bonus plan, Varadi's target is to double the company's share price over the next five-year period.

There are also environmental, social, and governance objectives attached to the payout.

Over the last five years, Wizz's share price has risen by over 200%.

It was previously reported that Wizz Air faced a showdown with shareholders when they voted on the plan to pay its chief executive a bonus of up to £100 million if he meets certain targets.

Several shareholder advisory groups had urged investors to vote against the proposals on future bonuses.

Glass Lewis said that the company's "new value creation plan" (VCP) for the CEO and other senior leaders had the potential for "excessive payouts".

The maximum payout was considered excessive, said Institutional Shareholder Services, adding that "no compelling explanation has been provided to justify the quantum."

Varadi, 55, co-founded Wizz in 2003.

The airline has since grown rapidly, spreading from its core eastern European markets of Poland, Hungary, and Romania into Britain, Italy, and other parts of western Europe.

Wizz has continued to take delivery of planes during the pandemic and add new routes while some rivals have contracted, but like many airlines, COVID-19 has caused it problems.

Wizz's annual meeting took place at 1300 GMT on Tuesday July 27 in Geneva, Switzerland.

News by Reuters, edited for Hospitality Ireland by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share via Email