Around 15 percent of VIE passengers flew with the Hungarian low-cost carrier in August.
Expansion instead of depression: This is how you could describe the rapid and ambitious restart of capacities at Vienna Airport by Wizz Air in the wake of the corona crisis. Since May 1, 2020, the Hungarian low-cost airline has been flying from Schwechat again after the lockdown – around 45 destinations are currently being served. In comparison, the other two top dogs took off much later, AUA on June 15 and Lauda / Ryanair on July 1, 2020.
This strategy should have paid off, at least in terms of market share. As Wizz Air boss József Váradi explained on Monday in Vienna, this was 15 percent at Vienna International Airport in August – in January “only” eight percent of passengers flew from Vienna with Wizz. In comparison, the AUA share fell from 40 to 34 percent, while that of Lauda / Ryanair rose from 11 to 25 percent.
Market shares in Vienna: January vs. August 2020 (Graphic: Wizz Air).
Not only in Vienna but also in other regions of Europe, Wizz Air stepped on the gas despite Corona: According to Váradi, 205 new routes and 11 new bases were opened from April to August 2020. The load factor was only 63 percent in this period – but in August it was already over 70 percent. Incidentally, Wizz Air took over 10 new aircraft during this period.
It will be exciting to see how the brisk Wizz Air restart will affect the financial figures: In the last quarter from April to June 2020, EBITDA was still slightly positive at 8.9 million euros (after 187.2 million euros in the same quarter of 2019) – The bottom line, however, was that Wizz Air had to write a net loss of 56.7 million euros (after a profit of 72.4 million euros from April to June 2019). The next figures are expected for November 5, 2020.