Britons have warned that plane tickets will become more expensive at the end of the summer
The price of a plane ticket could jump nearly 10% this summer as European travelers try to get away from it after two years of tight travel restrictions. The Wizz Air boss said tickets were already more expensive now than they were the year before the pandemic.
Jozsef Varadi expects that to rise even further, to “a higher figure” in the company’s second quarter, which runs from July to September.
“Our bookings are showing strong performance in the first fiscal quarter, with average rates up single digits compared to (the) same period in F20 (year ending March 2020),” he said.
“For the fiscal second quarter, we expect higher single-digit pricing ahead of the equivalent F20 period.”
This could see fares rise by almost 10%, although the company did not reveal a more detailed assessment of where they are likely to go. Wizz Air has also warned shareholders that recent disruptions at airports will likely result in an operating loss for the airline in its first fiscal quarter.
“Staff shortages in air traffic control, security and other parts of the supply chain have a direct impact on airlines, our employees and our customers,” Varadi said.
He added: “We are seeing strong consumer demand for the summer, but we expect an operating loss for the first quarter of F23. The airline industry remains exposed to externalities such as the disruption of the air traffic control and ongoing operational issues in the airport sector, adding to a volatile macro environment.
“As a result, at this stage, we are not providing any further financial guidance for the year.”
The number of passengers carried by Wizz more than doubled from 10.2 million to 27.1 million in the year to the end of March. Revenue rose 125% to 1.7 billion euros (£1.5 billion), while the pre-tax loss fell from 567 million euros to 642 million (from 482 to 546 million pounds sterling).
British holidaymakers have faced delays and cancellations amid airport chaos, and there could be further disruption after two Italian unions called for a nationwide crew strike. According to Italian media, pilots and flight attendants from airlines such as Ryanair, easyJet and Crewlink are expected to strike for four hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The unions Italian Federation of Transport Workers (FILT) and Italian Union of Transport Workers (UILT) said the strike concerned wage disputes, non-payment of sick leave, summer holidays and a “lack of ‘water and meals for the crew’. The UILT said that if an agreement is not reached, “it will only be the first in a series of protest actions which will make the summer ‘hot'”.
Easyjet has warned customers that there may be disruptions to its schedule. In a statement, the airline said: “We are aware of possible multiple strikes planned in Italy on June 8, affecting air traffic services.
“Like all airlines operating to and from Italy, we may experience disruptions to our flight schedule on this date. We advise customers who need to travel to, from or within Italy Italy on June 8 to check the status of their flights on our Flight Tracker on our mobile app or our website at www.easyjet.com/(Your Flight Number).
“While this is beyond our control, we would like to reassure customers that we are doing everything we can to minimize any disruption that may occur as a result of the strike.”
It comes after days of chaos at airports across the country, with easyJet forced to cancel at least 35 flights on Tuesday, with Gatwick the worst affected airport. Hungarian carrier Wizz Air has also cut at least seven flights to UK airports.
British Airways canceled 124 flights at Heathrow, although the airline said affected passengers had been given advance notice. There have also been reports of massive queues and major delays over the past month, due to staff shortages and a huge surge in demand as more people travel after restrictions post coronavirus.
Meanwhile, hundreds of check-in and ground workers employed by British Airways at Heathrow began voting on the strike on Tuesday. Members of the Unite and GMB unions are elected in a pay dispute that could spell chaos at the UK’s busiest airport over the summer holiday period.