Central European budget carrier Wizz Air carried 15% more passengers in the last calendar year than it did in 2019, its previous high point.
Since April 2022, Wizz exceeded 2019 passenger levels by a double-digit percentage each month as Covid restrictions in Europe were eased.
The carrier ended the year particularly strongly: Wizz transported 4.2 million passengers in December, a 27% increase on the same month in 2019 – and a 58% jump on December 2021.
This meant that despite an Omicron-hit first quarter, Wizz carried almost six million more passengers on a booked seat basis last year than in did in 2019, flying 45.7 million customers.
|Wizz Air||2022 (m)||2019 (m)||Change|
|Source: FlightGlobal analysis of Wizz Air data|
|Year to date||45.7||39.8||15%|
Load factor has also moved closer to pre-pandemic levels. Wizz’s load factor in December was 84.5% and 86.7% for the calendar year. While that is a more than 11 percentage point improvement on 2021, is still down on the 93.6% level enjoyed in the 2019 calendar year.
Wizz was among the most aggressive European carriers in restoring and expanding capacity after the pandemic and, while operational challenges curbed some of its original capacity expansion during the year, it still expects to be operating 35% more capacity than pre-pandemic this winter.