Wizz Air Holdings Plc
Geneva, 23 March 2020: Wizz Air Holdings Plc ("Wizz Air" or the "Company"), the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, today provides an operational update in light of the current unprecedented travel restrictions introduced by governments across Europe to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent decline in demand for air travel.
On average, Wizz Air's capacity is reduced by 30% year-on-year for the month of March. As of this week, Wizz Air has grounded around 85% of its fleet. The company continues to operate 15% of its capacity and remains operational in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria, but the grounding of the entire fleet remains a distinct possibility over the next period, as potential additional travel restrictions and social distancing policies issued by authorities may make international flying for commercial purposes either untenable or impossible. The health and safety of crew and passengers remains Wizz Air's top priority. We continue to partner with the relevant authorities and follow their guidelines.
For the avoidance of doubt, Wizz Air will resume all flights as soon as reduced travel restrictions and governmental policies allow commercial operations. Whilst difficult to predict the duration of the pandemic, given the significant balance sheet strength and liquidity, as well as the company's ultra-low cost business model, Wizz Air is confident in its ability to survive even a potential prolonged grounding substantially beyond the current estimates for the impact of COVID-19 in Europe.
To further secure our strong financial position during the reduction in capacity, the company has implemented additional cost-reduction measures in third-party spending, overhead spending, discretionary spending and non-essential capital expenditure. In addition, we have implemented measures to secure our strong cash position working with vendors, suppliers and authorities.
We have rolled out a series of voluntary working hour reduction options and leave options with our employees. The Board and Executive Leadership Team of the company will be foregoing their salaries for 5 weeks including the month of April. Through all of these extraordinary and unparalleled events, we have had tremendous support of our people across all countries we operate in to put these interventions in place and to be ready to restart full operations as soon as travel restrictions allow for this.
As announced previously, the Company will provide an F20 trading statement ahead of the Company's full year F20 results which will be released on 21 May.
József Váradi, Wizz Air Chief Executive commented:
"Our ever-disciplined attitude to cost and cash enables Wizz Air to take decisions that are right for crew, passengers and communities even in the context of demand and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.
Wizz Air's ultra-low cost business model and our strong balance sheet provide a solid foundation and a significant competitive advantage in the current challenging environment for airlines, while also making us a long-term structural winner in the aviation sector.
However, this situation is posing a significant threat on the aviation industry and we call on governments to take non-discriminatory steps which will benefit all airlines. This will enable an industry and environment that is healthy, efficient and more environmentally sustainable and will serve passengers through enhancing the mobility of people."
ABOUT WIZZ AIR
Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, offers more than 710 routes from 25 bases, connecting 154 destinations across 45 countries. A team of more than 5,000 aviation professionals delivers superior service and very low fares making Wizz Air the preferred choice of 40 million passengers in the past 12 months. WIZZ operates an all-Airbus fleet of 121 aircraft. Its A320s are equipped with 180 seats, its A321s with 230 seats and its A321neo aircraft with 239 seats. According to the latest data of the Swiss airline intelligence provider CH-Aviation, Wizz Air has one of the youngest airline fleets in the world. Wizz Air is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker WIZZ and is included in the FTSE 250 and FTSE All-Share Indices. Wizz Air is registered under the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), the global benchmark in airline safety recognition. The company was recently named one of the world's top ten safest airlines by airlineratings.com, the world's only safety and product rating agency, and 2019 - Airline of the Year by Air Transport Awards the only international awards that recognizes the year's most outstanding performers in the aerospace industry in the most important categories.
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For more information:
Evelin Horvath, Wizz Air
+41 22 555 9863
Tamara Vallois, Wizz Air:
+36 1 777 9324
Edward Bridges / Jonathan Neilan, FTI Consulting LLP:
+44 20 3727 1017
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