Wizz Air profits soar amid strong demand for eastern European flights
LOW-cost European airline Wizz Air has reported a record set of results, helped by a strong Easter and high demand for travel in Eastern Europe.
The London-listed firm said revenue rose 29 per cent to €469.3 million (£415 million) in the first quarter, while pre-tax profit soared 16 per cent to €60.5 million (£53.5 million).
Wizz Air carried 7.2 million passengers in the period, a 25 per cent increase compared with the same quarter last year as it opened up a further 10 routes, including to new airports in Russia, Kazakhstan and Morocco.
Chief executive Jozsef Varadi said: "The company experienced a particularly strong performance from Easter traffic in the first quarter.
"Our ultra-low cost base allows us to offer the lowest fares and that continues to stimulate the market for air travel in Central and Eastern Europe and, as economic growth in the region continues to push ahead of Western Europe, ever more customers take the opportunity to fly with Wizz Air."
Following the strong performance, the firm is pencilling in full-year net profit at the higher end of its guidance range of between €250 million (£221m) and €270 million (£238.8m).
Wizz Air now operates more than 500 routes to and from 42 countries, including from Belfast International Airport to Vilnius.
Last month the group hailed a "major investment in the UK" as it shrugged off Brexit uncertainties to open its first British base at Luton Airport.
The move will see it offer three new services to Tel Aviv in Israel, Pristina in Kosovo and Kutaisi in Georgia - taking its operations to 42 routes from Luton.