Skift Take

As demand falls across Europe, airlines have little choice but to adjust their flight schedules. It's a time to batten down the hatches and try to ride out the storm.

Wizz Air could cut capacity by 10% from next month due to the drop in demand caused by the coronavirus epidemic, it said on Wednesday, extending measures that have already seen the low-cost carrier axe two-thirds of flights to Italy.

“Subject to further impact on demand from COVID-19 (the virus), we are considering further adjusting network capacity in the magnitude of 10% in the first quarter of financial year 2021,” it said.

The Central and Eastern Europe-focused airline said it was difficult to predict the extent and duration of the outbreak and its impact on its new financial year, which begins next month.

Chief Executive Jozsef Varadi said: “Our ever-disciplined attitude to cost enables Wizz Air to partly offset some of the headwinds due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which have driven a temporary decline in demand and an increase in the cost of disruption as we put the well-being of passengers and crew first.”

Airlines have been suspending flights and modifying services in response to the virus outbreak.

Cancellations were initially focused on mainland China – the source of the outbreak – but have since been extended to other regions that have seen clusters of cases, including Italy.

Wizz Air’s rivals easyJet and Ryanair have also cancelled flights into and out of Italy.

Shares in the London-listed carrier, which have fallen 23% in the last two weeks, were flat in early deals.

This article was from Reuters and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].


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Tags: coronavirus, europe, low-cost carriers, wizz air

Photo credit: A Wizz Air A321. The airline may cut capacity by 10 percent in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Wizz AIr

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