Central and eastern Europe’s largest airline Wizz Air has reported a big increase in net profit for the financial year 2017-18. The low-cost carrier saw profit increase by 22.1 per cent to reach 275 million euros, exceeding expectations. Revenue rose 24 per cent to 1.9 billion euros, of which ancillary (non-seat) revenue accounted for 42 per cent, an increase of 24.4 per cent, to 816 million euros.
“The 2018 financial year was another year of investment and driving efficiencies in Wizz Air’s operations as we continue on our mission to become Europe’s undisputed airline cost leader,” said Wizz Air CEO József Váradi. “A backdrop of high economic growth rates across the CEE region underpins our business.”
Passengers numbers increased 24.7 per cent to 29.6 million, and the airline now accounts for more than 42 per cent of all low-cost traffic in CEE. Its overall market share in the region tops 16 per cent.
Wizz Air currently serves 141 destinations in 44 countries – 21 in emerging Europe – and flies 600 routes. Expansion will continue throughout 2018, not least at the airline’s Georgian base in Kutaisi. Seven new services – to Paris, Prague, Athens, Barcelona, Rome Bucharest and Vienna – were launched on May 18, part of a package of new routes which – as previously reported by Emerging Europe – also includes a 50 per cent increase in operations at Debrecen in eastern Hungary.
The airline’s total number of passengers is expected to increase by a further 20 per cent in 2018-19, to 36 million.