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Wizz Air reports £489m loss over last year after lockdowns drove passenger numbers down 75%

Budget flight firm Wizz Air says it has lost £489million in the past 12 months.

The devastating figures plummeted from a pre-tax profit of £254million down to the airline industry being battered during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It carried just 10.2 million passengers in the 12 months to the end of March, down by three-quarters from the year before.

Chief executive Jozsef Varadi said: ‘This was probably one of the most challenging years for the aviation industry, heavily impacted by Covid-19 related regulations.

‘Wizz Air’s (annual) revenue was down 73%.

‘Despite these unprecedented challenges, we stayed in control of our cost structure, preserved our cash position and maintained our investment grade balance sheet.’

Wizz Air chief executive Jozsef Varadi said it was air industry’s ‘most challenging year’

Crew checks cabin ahead of the flight on-board a passenger aircraft operated by Wizz Air

Crew checks cabin ahead of the flight on-board a passenger aircraft operated by Wizz Air

A woman with a child by a check-in desk at Pulkovo International Airport for a Wizz Air flight

A woman with a child by a check-in desk at Pulkovo International Airport for a Wizz Air flight

Wizz Air had attempted to attract a younger clientele less than a year ago after inking a deal with reality star Gemma Collins to front their brand.

She was seen in a sheer pink frilled coat and £830 Dolce & Gabbana shades filming one of their new adverts after signing the ‘six-figure’ contract.

Commenting on the latest results from Wizz Air Julie Palmer, partner at business rescue firm Begbies Traynor, said: ‘Before the pandemic Wizz Air was flying high and making a solid return for investors while attracting holidaymakers with its clever savings due to choosing less popular routes and smaller airports. However, this high flier has suffered the same fate of all those dealing in holidays over the past 12 months with its profits wiped out by being grounded as holidays became a distant dream during the pandemic.

‘But there is hope on the horizon for this budget airline. It has a good structure and at its core it is a strong and viable business if the pandemic is taken…

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