Wizz Air PLC (LON:WIZZ) said it will not return to profit until 2023 unless flying restrictions are lifted soon.
“Unless we see an accelerated and permanent lifting of restrictions we expect a reported net loss” in 2022, said chief executive Jozsef Varadi.
Losses at the Central Europe-focused carrier scored to EUR567mln in the year to end-March 2021, an EUR850mln swing from a profit of EUR281mln a year earlier.
Revenues tumbled 73% to EUR739mln as the number of passengers flown fell to 10.2mln from 40mln.
Varadi said in what was probably one of the most challenging years for the industry the airline had stayed in control of its cost structure and preserved its cash position.
WizzAir ended the year with cash of EUR1.62bn with the size of the fleet rising by 13% to 137.
Varadi added he was cautiously optimistic about the business going forward, but said recovery had started later than expected so this year will be another one of transition.
“We expect to fly around 30% of our capacity in the first quarter of F22 and are resuming all cash contributing flying subject to government-imposed restrictions,” he added.
“For F23 we see a strong trading environment and we plan to operate our full capacity”.
The aim was to rebuild and eventually double the Wizz Air business in the “next year and years to come”, said the statement.