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Price of plane tickets to jump this summer, Wizz Air says

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The price of a plane ticket might jump by close to 10% this summer as European travellers try to get away after two years of heavy travel restrictions.

The boss of Wizz Air said tickets are already more expensive now than they were in the year before the pandemic struck.

Jozsef Varadi expects this to increase even further, to “upper single digits” in the company’s second quarter, which runs between July and September.

“Our bookings are showing strong performance in the first fiscal quarter, with average fares trending higher at low single digits versus (the) same period in F20 (financial year ending March 2020),” he said.

“For fiscal quarter two, we expect fares in the upper single digits ahead of the equivalent period F20.”

This could see fares rise by close to 10%, although the company did not reveal any more detailed assessment of where they are likely to go.

Wizz Air also warned shareholders that recent disruption at airports will probably lead to the airline making an operating loss in the first quarter of its financial year.

“Shortages of staff in air traffic control, security and other parts of the supply chain are impacting airlines, our employees and our customers directly,” Mr Varadi said.

He added: “We see strong consumer demand for summer, but expect an operating loss for the first quarter of F23.

“The airline industry remains exposed to externalities such as air traffic control disruption and continuing operational issues within the airports sector, adding to a volatile macro environment.

“As a result, at this point, we are not providing further financial guidance for the year.”

The number of passengers Wizz carried more than doubled from 10.2 million to 27.1 million in the year to the end of March.

Revenue rose 125% to 1.7 billion euros (£1.5 billion), while pre-tax loss rose from 567 million euros to 642 million (£482 million to £546 million).

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