1000 Job Cuts at Wizz Air
Wizz Air, one of the most prominent and biggest airlines in Europe, yet another company to be affected by the coronavirus has announced that it would be laying off 1000 workers following a 97% fall in their operations.
In a press statement published by the Daily Mirror, Wizz Air chief executive Jozsef Varadi said:
“First and foremost, I would like to thank our people for their tremendous support to passengers and communities across all countries during these unprecedented times. “They have risen to the challenges facing Wizz Air and the industry with grace and determination, especially when it comes to performing repatriation flights for citizens stranded by COVID-19 across the world and delivering key medical supplies to help our countries, communities of caregivers and their patients.”
It was also confirmed by the airline that the salaries of chief executives, the board and senior staff would be cut by 22%, with the pilots, cabin crew and office staff also experiencing a 14% cut.
Wizz Air also announced that they are expecting profits of US$270-280 despite the Coronavirus pandemic. They’re counting a loss of US$75 million between March and May, and their capacity has dropped by 97%.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the carrier had announced several new routes that would be connecting European cities with Russia and other countries. Wizz Air is still optimistic about going ahead with plans of launching a budget carrier joint venture with a partner in Abu Dhabi this fall.
The airline also announced that it would be returning 32 of its oldest aircraft after the expiration of their leases and strives to cut back on costs and remain profitable. Also, Wizz Air has not deferred or cancelled deliveries for their aircraft and confirmed their commitment to the 15 new Airbus aircraft due to arrive this year.
With drop-in services, many European airlines are estimated to have about two months of cash reserves. However, Jozsef Varadi has said that Wizz Air has sufficient liquidity to last a year and a half. According to him, state aid could distort the market. He said, “Most European airlines have been badly mismanaged when it comes to liquidity. Now they’re all begging for state support. Governments should only be stepping in areas of employment and reducing charges such as air-navigation costs.”