LONDON – A report from Bloomberg highlighted that Wizz Air’s CEO Jozsef Varadi is not so optimistic about a Summer restart, as delays in the vaccine program across Europe could take up to a year to catch up.
With travel restrictions still in place across most of Europe, Varadi believes that it makes it impossible to predict what the demand for travel will actually be like, especially with significant cancellations happening currently.
An example of this was seen with Jet2 who cancelled flights all the way up to June 23rd.
“We need to reconcile these numbers with reality,” he said. “It might be possible to operate within these ranges, but we can’t guarantee it. It’s not a matter of capacity planning but governments imposing restrictions.”
“Whether this will happen (The recovery) over the summer or the winter or next spring, we don’t know.”
The airline later addressed the media via a statement and said that it expects “only a gradual traffic recovery into late summer”.
That being said, it does show that Wizz Air are being cautious, especially with the $1.9bn worth of liquidity it has in the company, which at current burn rates, will last the airline around three years.
This message ultimately highlights a level of distaste towards travel restrictions by the industry currently.
The PC Agency CEO Paul Charles mentioned on social media earlier this week that the industry in the UK is beginning to turn on the government due to the criticized decisions taken upon the announcement of the Global Travel Taskforce.
But for Wizz Air, this reduced level of optimism comes at the same time as the French President Emmanuel Macron stating that the vaccination drive is gaining pace and that it could catch up to Europe “in the coming weeks”, meaning that some further positive changes may still come going forward.