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Wizz Air makes more summer cuts as fears grow of school holiday flight chaos

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Low-cost airline’s move adds to concern about potential school holiday airport  chaos  (AFP/Getty Images)
Low-cost airline’s move adds to concern about potential school holiday airport chaos (AFP/Getty Images)

Wizz Air, the budget airline, has cut the number of seats available for the peak summer traveling season in the latest sign of potential disruption at UK airports, even after the recent reductions in flights made to avoid scenes of chaos at UK airports during the school holidays.

The Hungarian carrier announced a further cut of 5% in “utilization” for the peak summer period, deepening the cuts already announced in June when it reported its annual results. The move added to concern that re-drawn flight patterns at London airports may not be enough. Heathrow warned today it was assessing airlines’ schedules, raising the prospect of more cancellations to prevent high-summer scenes of last-minute cancellations like those that blighted travel over the Easter and Jubilee weekends.

Wizz Air is based at Gatwick in the UK. It also reported a continued rebound in demand in the first quarter of its financial year, in line with the removal of Covid-related travel restrictions. The number of “available seat kilometres” in the period, a key metric in the industry, rose 30% , also helped by re-allocations of services made in reaction to the war in Ukraine.

Overall, Wizz reported an operating loss of €285 million for the first quarter, due in part to the strength of the dollar against the euro, with the airline booking some costs in the US currency while taking revenue in euros. It said it expected a “material operational profit” in the second quarter.

Its shares fell by over 4% to 1785p in morning trade.

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