Wizz Air sees summer capacity close to pre-pandemic levels

Larger competitor EasyJet also said bookings from Europe were outpacing Britain

  
Wizz Air Airbus A320-232 plane HA-LWE taxies to take-off in Riga International Airport in Riga, Latvia January 17, 2020.

Wizz Air Airbus A320-232 plane HA-LWE taxies to take-off in Riga International Airport in Riga, Latvia January 17, 2020.

REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

LONDON - Hungarian airline Wizz Air said it expected capacity to ramp up to between 90% and 100% of pre-pandemic levels in July and August as summer demand for European travel grows, and any further easing of UK restrictions could provide an added boost.

Britain is set to exempt fully vaccinated travellers from the European Union from quarantine in the coming days according to reports, which would help it catch up with the EU, which has allowed more travel since July 1.

"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 on Wednesday.

Larger competitor EasyJet also said last week that bookings from Europe were outpacing Britain.

For the three months to the end of June, Wizz's first quarter period, the company flew 33% of its pre-pandemic capacity, a total of 2.95 million people.

Varadi said he could not give guidance beyond August as it was too difficult to predict giving changing restrictions and the risk of new variants.

Wizz, which competes with larger airline Ryanair to offer the cheapest fares in Europe, reported an underlying net loss of 118.7 million euros and liquidity of 1.7 billion euros.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton and Costas Pitas) ((sarah.young@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 1109; Reuters Messaging: sarah.young.thomsonreuters@reuters.net))


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