Air traffic control strikes hit profits at Wizz Air

Air traffic control strikes hit profits at Wizz Air

Wizz Air has seen profits fall from €61 million to €52 million in the three months to the end of June.

The Hungarian airline blamed the 14 per cent slump on air traffic controller strikes, with the amount it has been forced to pay out in delay and compensation costs trebling to €9 million.

The airline also cut its full-year growth target.

“With these disruptions likely to continue into autumn and on the back of a continued rise in fuel prices in the first quarter, the company took the decision to trim its full-year capacity growth target from 20 per cent to 18 per cent,” said József Váradi, chief executive of Wizz Air.

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The group kept its full-year profit target unchanged at €310-€340 million.

Wizz Air was earlier this week one of a group of airlines that called on the EU to take action to limit the impacts of strikes in French air space.

Váradi said of that decision: “The failure of French air traffic control authorities to ensure a continued and adequate service has already caused massive disruption to the travel plans of thousands of passengers across Europe, with airlines left to pick up the pieces.

“Addressing this issue must be a priority for the European authorities to ensure European citizens and businesses are no longer held hostage to national industrial relations issues.”

Passenger numbers at Wizz grew 20 per cent to 8.6 million for the period, while revenue was up 18 per cent to €553 million.