Hungary-based ULCC Wizz Air is planning to evacuate its aircraft from Ukraine and redistribute capacity elsewhere in its network.
The airline said its primary concern was working to support the remaining Wizz Air employees able and willing to evacuate from Ukraine and helping them to find safety in neighboring countries.
“As the only EU airline to have bases and aircraft based in Ukraine, with three aircraft located in Kyiv (IEV) and one aircraft in Lviv (LWO), we have an evacuation plan ready to bring the assets out of the country when it is safe to do so,” the ULCC added. “With the closure of Ukrainian, Moldovan and Russian airspace, the company has suspended all flights to and from Ukraine and Russia while operating Moldova flights out of Iasi (IAS), Romania. We will continue to review the suspensions as the situation unfolds.”
The airline said the aggregate Ukraine/Russia impact was 2% fewer network flights in February than originally scheduled; it expects a 7% impact in March.
“For the first quarter of fiscal 2023 (April to June) we are adjusting our point-to-point network to maximally mitigate this impact by redistributing capacity,” Wizz Air said.
At this point Wizz Air expects its fiscal 2022 operating loss guidance to be materially consistent with that given in January when it released its fiscal third quarter (Q3) results. The airline expects its fiscal fourth quarter operating loss should be slightly greater than its €213.6 million ($238.5 million) loss in fiscal Q3, “subject to preserving the integrity of our assets on the ground or other further developments in March 2022.”
“We continue to work through the operational challenges arising from the crisis in Ukraine and we are redistributing capacity to routes and bases where we can drive demand in line with our proven ULCC model,” CEO Jozsef Varadi said.
The airline will offer evacuated employees employment elsewhere in the network and is offering 100,000 free seats to Ukrainian refugees on short-haul flights departing from border countries, the airline added.