|Bid||3,474.00 x 0|
|Ask||3,478.00 x 0|
|Day's range||3,416.00 - 3,568.00|
|52-week range||1,500.00 - 4,526.00|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||0.99|
|PE ratio (TTM)||13.49|
|Earnings date||03 Jun 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||35.73|
(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Lufthansa AG may have won its battle for state aid, but its surrender of airport slots to appease regulators heralds heightened conflict between European aviation’s old guard and low-cost challengers.A rivalry that’s been simmering for years has been given fresh impetus by the coronavirus crisis, with former flag carriers falling back on government support as discounters including Ryanair Holdings Plc and Wizz Air Holdings Plc argue that the market alone should dictate who survives.Lufthansa’s 9 billion-euro ($9.9 billion) bailout and a slots accord with the European Union overnight Friday handed the region’s biggest airline a lifeline. Now, the German group and network carriers such as Air France-KLM face a battle royale in repelling no-frills operators that came into the crisis stronger and plan to use it to gain ground in territories hitherto largely closed to them.“We are trying to take advantage of the situation,” Wizz Chief Executive Officer Jozsef Varadi said in an interview. “Lufthansa is getting a huge financial edge, but they’ll need to restructure after taking all of this money. So Germany will bring opportunities.”Aid ImbalanceDiscount airlines have received only modest support compared with legacy carriers. Ryanair, Wizz and EasyJet Plc have tapped the U.K.’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility for a combined 1.5 billion pounds ($1.8 billion), while Air France-KLM has received 7 billion euros from the French state and could overtake Lufthansa’s bailout once Dutch support is finalized.Low-cost carriers have also been quicker off the mark in slashing costs, with Ryanair, which has its biggest base at London Stansted, announcing 3,000 job cuts a month ago when Lufthansa was still in the early stages of putting together its bailout request.The strength of the challenge to Lufthansa in particular will depend on take-up for the 12 pairs of daily flight slots to be made available to competitors at its Frankfurt and Munich hubs as part of the bailout settlement ordered by the EU. Complicating matters is a proviso that says only new entrants can obtain the takeoff and landing rights during the first 18 months.Market DistortionThat would allow Ryanair, which has flights in Frankfurt, to target Munich, and EasyJet to do the reverse. Budapest-based Wizz, Europe’s third-biggest discount carrier, doesn’t currently serve either airport so could seek slots at both.Spokespeople for Ryanair and EasyJet declined to comment.Read more:Germany, Lufthansa Prove Tougher Foes for Vestager Than GoogleMerkel Is Seizing Her Chance to Revolutionize Germany’s EconomyWe All Might Be Flying in Planes Again Soon: Chris BryantRyanair gained 4.8% as of 11:18 a.m. in Dublin, while EasyJet advanced 4.4% and Wizz was up 3.8% in London. Lufthansa added 5.4% on Tradegate with regular trading in Frankfurt closed for a German holiday.The biggest opportunities for the low-cost players lie in Germany, Italy and Norway, said Mark Manduca, an analyst with Citigroup.“After the crisis passes and a price war this summer ensues, Ryanair and Wizz stand on the cusp of a three- to five-year consolidation and expansion story, as the participants around them shrink and flounder,” he said in a research note.State aid to the likes of Lufthansa will at least initially bend the market in their favor, EU competition watchdog Margrethe Vestager said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “This is why we also have remedies, to try to limit that market distortion,” she said.The Lufthansa case is a template for EU oversight of other virus-related recapitalizations, Vestager said. The bloc would likely review any equity injection into Air France-KLM by France or the Netherlands, and is in close contact with the Italian government over the nationalization of bankrupt Alitalia Spa, which she called “a special case” because of its pre-existing financial distress.That budget airlines will make inroads isn’t a given.In Germany, the major hubs of Frankfurt and Munich charge typically higher fees than at the smaller airports traditional favored by discount operators, something Varadi said is a major obstacle to flying there.Both have a large proportion of passengers who transfer on or off long-distance flights, limiting the market share available to short-haul carriers.Stationing staff in Germany also means grappling with stringent employment laws and powerful unions, potential headaches for companies seeking to keep expenses low.Lufthansa’s pilot, cabin-crew and ground-crew unions wrote to European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen on Friday saying that a shift of slots to discount carriers would cause a “massive hollowing out” of labor standards and pay.Disruption AheadThe French market could open up as Air France-KLM reins in its network in response to environmental demands from the French government. A restructuring to be presented within months will call for a 40% cut in domestic French capacity by the end of 2021, Chief Executive Officer Ben Smith told shareholders last week.The company has also said it may raise new equity, potentially triggering EU scrutiny that could lead to slots being made available in the busy Paris and Amsterdam markets. The initial funding package avoided increasing state holdings amid acrimony between the French and Dutch governments over existing stakes.In Italy, Alitalia was in bankruptcy protection even before the virus hit. The rescue is regarded as dubious given the airline’s status, and the EU is expected to begin an investigation. Slot availability in Rome and Milan could be one outcome.Full-service airlines are also in retreat in the U.K., where British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. have indicated they’ll exit London Gatwick airport to consolidate operations at the city’s Heathrow hub.That will consolidate Gatwick’s status as a discount and leisure-oriented base, leaving EasyJet unchallenged as the biggest operator and offering an opportunity for Ryanair and Wizz to expand their more modest presence.Discount airlines are also cutting their cloth, though not nearly so much.Wizz will maintain all of its European bases and routes, while trimming frequencies, Varadi said. It announced four new hubs and 50 new routes on Friday.“We’re sensing strong demand, which we aim to tap as travel restrictions ease,” the CEO said.(Updates with Vestager comments in 12th paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Hungary's Wizz Air <WIZZ.L> is adding new flights between Britain and Spain and opening a base in Italy as it sees opportunities arising from the coronavirus crisis which is forcing competitors to contract. "We are one of the very few airlines in Europe which can deliver growth capacity when everyone else is cutting and contracting capacity," Wizz Chief Executive Jozsef Varadi said in an interview. Wizz, Europe's no.3 budget carrier, said on Friday it was opening a new base at Milan Malpensa after announcing on Thursday new routes between London Luton and Spanish holiday resorts, taking the fight directly to Luton-headquartered easyJet <EZJ.L>.
Wizz Air <WIZZ.L> needs more details on British plans to quarantine travellers before it can assess their impact after seeing strong demand for the routes it has started operating during the coronavirus crisis, its chief executive told Reuters. Jozsef Varadi, the chief executive of budget Hungarian carrier Wizz, said on Monday that one option to lower the impact of any quarantine would be to make exemptions for those travellers who had recently tested negative for the virus. Britain announced the new travel restriction on Sunday, saying it would bring in a 14-day quarantine requirement on most people arriving into the country by air.
The company blamed the 'devastating' pandemic for hitting air travel, with cost-cutting plans leaving many staff without jobs.
Low cost airline Wizz Air <WIZZ.L> said it is planning for the easing of travel restrictions by starting new routes from Britain's London Luton airport to holiday destinations in Portugal from 16 June and to Greece from July. European flights have all but come to a standstill during the coronavirus pandemic with government restrictions meaning that only a few services are operating for essential travel such as people going to work or being repatriated, or for cargo. Wizz Air said on Tuesday that it was announcing the new routes as part of its planning for the easing of restrictions, and said that new rules it had introduced, such as compulsory face masks for passengers and staff, should give customers confidence to fly.
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The Dublin-based carrier flew just 40,000 passengers across 600 flights. Ryanair had originally planned to run over 75,000 flights in April.
Europe's biggest budget airline Ryanair posted a 99.6% fall in passenger numbers in April, while smaller low cost carrier Wizz Air said numbers plunged 97.6%, as the novel coronavirus halted most flying across Europe. Ryanair said it flew 40,000 passengers in April compared to the 13.5 million it carried in the same month in 2019. Wizz Air said that it carried 78,389 passengers in April, down from 3.3 million in the comparative 2019 period, but its figures will improve this month as it became one of the first European airlines to restart commercial routes from London Luton and Vienna on May 1.
Wizz Air's planned Abu Dhabi-based joint venture carrier is expected to start flying this year, the European budget airline said in a statement on Sunday. The joint venture with Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ, announced in December, aims to start flights to Europe, the Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa, Wizz Air said. Wizz Air will also start flights from European cities to Abu Dhabi from June, which it said would supplement the launch of the joint venture.
Hungarian budget carrier Wizz Air <WIZZ.L> flew into London's Luton airport from Sofia on Friday, becoming one of the first European airlines to restart routes during the coronavirus pandemic. There were also dozens of passengers within the airport, spaced out for social distancing, possibly for the return flight which took off shortly afterwards. European airlines have grounded the majority of their fleets over the last six weeks as governments imposed travel restrictions to combat the spread of the virus.
Low-cost airline Wizz Air said on Saturday it would restart some flights from London's Luton Airport on May 1, becoming one of the first European carriers to begin restoring services that have been halted during the coronavirus pandemic. European airlines have grounded the majority of their fleets over the last six weeks as demand plunged and travel restrictions to combat the virus took hold. Wizz said, however, it would be putting some of its planes back in the air "to provide an essential service to passengers who need to travel", adding that the resumption of its flights was subject to no further government restrictions being announced.
Low-cost airline Wizz Air <WIZZ.L> said on Saturday it would restart some flights from London's Luton Airport on May 1, becoming one of the first European carriers to begin restoring services that have been halted during the coronavirus pandemic. European airlines have grounded the majority of their fleets over the last six weeks as demand plunged and travel restrictions to combat the virus took hold. Wizz said, however, it would be putting some of its planes back in the air "to provide an essential service to passengers who need to travel", adding that the resumption of its flights was subject to no further government restrictions being announced.
Wizz Air is making plans to fly jets only two-thirds full to allow more space between passengers, it said on Tuesday, as airlines voiced concerns that anti-coronavirus measures could blight their profitability long after travel restrictions end. Wizz Chief Executive Jozsef Varadi and the head of global airline trade body IATA both said single-aisle planes may be required to leave the middle seats on each side vacant to allow a degree of "social distancing" aboard. Beyond the open-ended lockdowns and travel bans that have brought air travel to a near-halt, deep uncertainty remains over the pace of an eventual recovery and the potential for lasting restrictions that could pile up yet more losses.
European low cost airline Wizz Air <WIZZ.L> is not looking to defer any of the Airbus <AIR.PA> narrowbody planes it has on order even though it does not expect the market to grow again until 2022, its chief executive said. Wizz CEO Jozsef Varadi told Reuters on Tuesday that he believed the market for air travel would start growing in 2022. The airline, whose geographic focus is central and eastern Europe, said that when air travel restarts Wizz is considering flying its planes two-thirds full to ease passenger concerns about being too close to others following the coronavirus pandemic.
Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air is repatriating citizens and transporting medical equipment for east European governments, in a move coupling one-off charter traffic with savvy government relations amid the coronavirus crisis. Wizz Air is one of several airlines involved in the largest peacetime repatriation effort in Europe as travel firms turn their attention from tourists to serving governments. "We try to do the right thing," Wizz Air Chief Executive Jozsef Varadi told Reuters.
Wizz Air <WIZZ.L> has suspended all flights to and from Bulgarian city of Varna in an attempt to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, the low-cost carrier said in a statement on Tuesday. Flights to and from the airport in the Black Sea port will be cancelled from March 25 until May 1, the company said.
Travel and leisure businesses have been among the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with hundreds of billions of dollars in business trips and holidays cancelled as countries impose draconian restrictions to try to curb its spread. "Wizz Air is confident in its ability to survive even a potential prolonged grounding substantially beyond the current estimates for the impact of COVID-19 in Europe," the company said in a statement. The carrier said it continues to operate 15% of its capacity and remains operational in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria, and will resume all flights after travel restrictions are lowered and governments permit commercial operations.
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It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the Wizz Air Holdings Plc (LON:WIZZ) share price down 18% in the...
A Wizz Air <WIZZ.L> press conference in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, where Chief Executive Jozsef Varadi was due to attend, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus, organisers said on Sunday. The press conference was cancelled "out of an abundance of caution and in line with government directives," the email to media said. Wizz Air was to announce new routes and other updates, according to an earlier invite sent to media.
Airline announces its chief executive and senior leaders would take significant short-term pay cuts in the coming months.
The company said it flew 3 million passengers last month, up from 2.5 million a year earlier. Wizz Air said last month it would decrease the frequency of its Romania, Poland, Italy and Israel routes, cutting two-thirds of all flights on affected routes over three weeks between March 11 and April 2. Meanwhile, rival Ryanair <RYA.I> said it flew 10.5 million passengers last month, a 9% jump from a year earlier.