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Wizz Air’s aircraft delivery schedule remains intact for the coming twelve months. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: European low-cost airline Wizz Air saw a sizeable jump in revenue and sharply cut its losses in the 2023 financial year as it ferried more passengers.

The airline carried 51,071,836 passengers in the full year to March 31, 2023, compared to 27,128,160 in the year-ago period, an 88.3 per cent jump. This contributed to a 134.2 per cent increase in revenue — from 1,663.4 million euros in the 2022 financial year to 3,895.7 million euros in the reported financial year.

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But the figure that stood out the most was a reported loss of 535.1 million euros in the financial year to March 31, compared to a wider 642.5 million loss in the year-ago period — an improvement of 107.4 million euros. EBITDA, too, jumped into the positive territory — a positive 134.3 million euros in the reported financial year, compared to a negative 23.3 million euros in the same period a year earlier.

Passenger ticket revenue increased by 176.6 per cent to 2,024.9 million euros to make up 52 per cent of total revenue. Ancillary revenue increased by 100.9 per cent to 1,870.8 million euros, representing 48 per cent of total revenue.

Average ticket revenue per passenger increased from 27.00 euros in FY22 to 39.70 euros in FY23 (by 46.6 per cent), supported by rising load factors (78.1 per cent versus 87.8 per cent).

“FY23 was a year of significant growth for the business, with our key operational and financial performance metrics moving in the right direction as we transition into the post-COVID era. During the year Wizz Air delivered industry-leading capacity increases by operating 76 per cent more ASKs versus last year (and +40 per cent vs FY20),” Wizz Air Group CEO József Váradi said.

“The effects of fuel price increases and structural capacity issues at airports remained features throughout the year, but we are mitigating these through decisive actions which helped to improve ex-fuel cost performance. As anticipated, our H2-2023 ex-fuel cost per available seat kilometre (‘CASK’) was 8 per cent lower year-over-year and only 9 per cent higher vs FY20, even accounting for our continued investment and the inflationary environment affecting our cost base.”

Stronger outlook

The airline expects ASK capacity to grow +30 per cent year-on-year in FY24, with current expectations of H1 and H2 growth rates at similar levels. It also plans to increase its staff to 8,000, and its fleet to 200+ aircraft.

Growing fleet

In the twelve months ended March 31, Wizz Air has taken delivery of 35 new A321neo aircraft, while returning nine A320ceo aircraft, ending the year with a total fleet of 179 aircraft: 50x A320ceo, 41x A321ceo, 6x A320neo, 82x A321neo.

As at March 31, 2023 Wizz Air’s delivery backlog comprises of a firm order for 13x A320neo, 305x A321neo and 47x A321XLR aircraft, a total of 365 aircraft.

Wizz Air’s aircraft delivery schedule remains intact for the coming twelve months. During FY24 it is expecting deliveries of new 42x A321neo and redeliveries of 16 A320ceos.

Regional push

Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, operational for two years now, expects its fleet size to grow from nine to 16 aircraft in the next 12 months.

“We believe it can become a 50-aircraft operation serving a potential market of 5 billion people within a five-hour flying range from Abu Dhabi by the end of the decade,” the airline said.