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Monday, March 1, 2021

Wizz Air says passenger numbers were 59% lower in September

  • Wizz Air says passenger numbers were 59% lower in September due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The European ultra-low-cost air carrier to operate at half its capacity in October.
  • The largest European low-cost airline Ryanair slashes its annual forecast for passenger numbers.

Wizz Air Holdings plc (LON: WIZZ) said on Monday that passenger numbers in September were still down 59% on a year over year basis due to the Coronavirus pandemic that has brought the global travel and tourism industry to a near halt this year. The COVID-19 crisis has so far infected more than 35 million people worldwide and caused over 1 million deaths.

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Shares of the company opened less than 1% up on Monday. The stock dipped a little in the next hour but then rallied again to an intraday high of £32 per share. In comparison, Wizz Air was trading at a much higher £39.90 per share at the start of 2020. Trading stocks online is easier than you think. Here’s you can buy shares online in 2020.

Wizz Air to operate at half its capacity in October

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According to Wizz Air, its capacity remained 40% lower than last year in September. Planes, it added, were only 65% full last month. Owing to the second wave of the novel flu-like virus, several European countries recently resorted to travelling restrictions once again to combat the health crisis.

For October, the Hungarian airline said that it will fly only 50% of its capacity, and that the outlook for the upcoming winter season at large was also dovish. In separate news from the UK, Weir Group plc said it will sell its oil and gas business to Caterpillar Inc. for a cash deal valued at £312.67 million.

Ryanair slashes its annual forecast for passenger numbers

Ryanair also said in September that annual passenger number was likely to come in 10 million lower than previously estimated due to the reimposed COVID-19 restrictions in Europe. Lower demand is also hitting aeroplane manufacturer this year with the world’s largest, Airbus, revealing a further a decline in deliveries in August. But its deliveries were still stronger than its U.S. competitor, The Boeing Company.

Rival EasyJet also said last month that it was cutting its flying schedule further to cushion the economic blow from the Coronavirus pandemic. EasyJet has already slashed its workforce by 4,500 jobs and permanently closed three of its bases in the United Kingdom.

Wizz Air performed fairly upbeat in the stock market last year with an annual gain of about 30%. At the time of writing, the European ultra-low-cost airline has a market cap of £2.73 billion.

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