Budget carrier Wizz Air has become one of the first European airlines to detail the full coronavirus impact on traffic in March, a month during which airlines started embarking on widespread fleet grounding.

Wizz Air says booked passenger numbers fell by nearly 36%, to 1.75 million, as it cut capacity by more than a third over the month, but it maintained an average load factor of 92%.

It had grounded some 85% of its fleet by around the third week of March.

While per-passenger carbon dioxide emissions declined by 3.4%, it says, the overall impact of the slashed capacity was to cut total emission by 35%.

The airline’s financial year ended on 31 March but it has yet to detail the fiscal impact of the crisis on the company. Since 20 February its share price has more than halved.

Wizz Air says it continued to operate repatriation and rescue flights throughout March, including services from North America to Hungary. It adds that it is flying Chinese routes to delivery medical equipment ordered by the Hungarian government.