Wizz Air to cut almost 20% of workforce


Low cost carrier Wizz Air, which boasts bases in Skopje, Tuzla and Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia and employs hundreds of locals, has announced it will dismiss 1.000 staff members, or some 19% of its entire workforce as a result of the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak. The carrier did not detail which markets would be affected. As well as redundancies, additional employee furlough measures have been and will be taken "in the short term" as a result of ongoing travel restrictions. Wages are also being cut for the remaining workforce, with pilots, cabin crew and office staff losing an average of 14% of their salaries for the whole year, while the Chief Executive, Board of Directors and all senior officers will lose 22% of theirs.

The airline’s CEO, Jozsef Varadi, who recently criticised plans by governments to provide state aid for their national carriers, said Wizz Air has taken various initiatives to protect the company during the Covid-19 pandemic and is reviewing the competitiveness and allocation of assets. "We are also working to further improve our strategic, cost and cash position in the aftermath of this crisis to ensure we can deliver our long-term growth target. Wizz Air undoubtedly remains best placed for long-term value creation in the European aviation industry due to its low fare - low cost business model and unique positioning as the market leader in the growing Central and East European market. The company is expecting to deliver significant shareholder value, environmental benefits and employment opportunities in the years to come", Mr Varadi noted.

Wizz Air is also working with suppliers to reduce contracted rates and improve payment terms. The budget airline is currently operating only 3% of its pre-coronavirus capacity. The airline expects to maintain its plans to grow capacity by an average of 15% annually as markets normalise. The launch of Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is also progressing in line with the company’s initial timeline. So far, Wizz Air has downgraded its year-round service between Milan and Ohrid into seasonal summer flights, with more network changes possible in the weeks and months ahead.

Comments

  1. Anonymous09:02

    And only a few days ago they were bragging how they can withstand a year and a half without any flight...

    Pathetic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nemjee09:08

      And a week before that they claimed how they could last three years without flying.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous09:02

    Wow didn't Varadi say just the other day how they wouldn't fire anyone?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous09:03

    I hope none of the ex-Yu staff will be affected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:04

      They are already affected by the pay cuts, if nothing else.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:56

      I used to work for Wizz Air in BEG - they fired 10 Cabin Attendants today and will withdraw one aircraft from the Belgrade base. A few pilots got fired as well in BEG.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:00

      I doubt they will be retiring one plane in summer, maybe in winter time.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:05

      We will most likely reshuffle all of ex-YU. TZL and BEG will have one plane while SKP will lose one and others will be used for W flights to both BEG and TZL. Nothing is confirmed yet.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous22:23

      20 people will get fired in Tuzla too, one AC will be taken. Skopje 21 fired - 2 AC taken. Sh#t happens.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous06:24

      Wizz is not going to extend the lease for 34 older A320s. That's going to be a massive drop guys, I expect massive cuts all around to come soon. Let's see if Wizz Air actually manages to pull through this mess. Credit rating houses don't think they will though.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous09:18

      Fitch has downgraded Wizz Air's credit rating to BBB-, which is still "investment grade", just with lower expected returns.

      No doom and gloom just yet.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous09:08

    curious to know what will happen with VIE ...

    his statement that they are "profitable in VIE" has to be taken as seriously as any statement by an ex-yu politician

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous09:09

    I can only imagine the situation at ex-Yu national carriers if it's like this at Wizz Air.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:12

      +1

      Delete
    2. Nemjee09:13

      Ex-YU carriers are smaller and their operations are centralized around one market, it's much easier to manage than the situation at Wizz Air. W6 has opened up new markets in recent times where they had to invest a lot of money in order to become relevant. I was surprised to see that they are behind Lauda in Vienna in terms of marketshare. I think they are at around 6%. Then there is also Luton which will be a huge problem for them as estimates are that the UK economy will shrink quite a bit this year.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:16

      They may be centralized but they also have double the staff numbers they actually need.

      Delete
    4. Nemjee09:26

      True but then again they our carriers have not overexpanded in recent months and don't have so many expensive, brand new aircraft on order. Don't forget that Wizz Air started cutting flights from Romania even before corona appeared. As some already mentioned on here, there is also their Vienna base, will be interesting to see what becomes of that and if they actually shrink it to a more manageable level.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:52

      The big difference is that Wizz Air has shareholders to answer, when the profits go down.

      YM, OU and JU can just say they had to repair an engine or two, and the government will hurry to give them couple of million EUR.

      That's the difference.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous12:11

      For some here the concepts of profitability and shareholder value are very abstract

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:20

      Hah, add to that accountability and you got it :)

      Delete
    8. Anonymous13:19

      Just like some can't grasp the concept of a business of national importance. Certain countries out there don't want to be left without a national airline which can play a critical role in many different ways. It's not everything about money, profits and bonuses.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous14:23

      Indeed, I bet that is what the Italians say each time they pour hundreds of millions of dollars into Alitalia.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous14:30

      If Italians did not care for Alitalia then some government would have shut it down long time ago. I am sure they do say that, you are right.

      Delete
    11. Anonymous15:35

      Wizz CEO says they are best placed for long-term value creation in the European aviation. Except they are not creating much value for Europe, most of value created goes back to investors outside of Europe. That's why governments will protect national carriers with new regulations and financial backing and that's bad news for Wizz.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous17:32

      Exactly but I still Hungarians have a bit to lose especially since all income from tickets goes to their accounts in Budapest. Great for their GDP.

      Delete
    13. Anonymous19:15

      Wizz Air pays most of its tax in Switzerland, not Hungary.

      Delete
  6. Nemjee09:10

    Let's see if they request aid from the North Macedonian government in order to keep all their planes there. I can't imagine there will be enough demand for five high density A320 series aircraft right after Corona. After all, I can imagine only North Macedonia and Hungary would lose a lot from Wizz Air shrinking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:33

      +1

      They start cutting in ohrid

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:45

      there will not be demand for anything as it was before

      they are begging governments almost everywhere to pay most of their wages right now; it was just pathetic how they did it in Germany...

      but by stating "Wizz Air is also working with suppliers to reduce contracted rates" they are just paraphrasing publicly that they will not take any new airbus in 2020 and 2021 and that they do not intent to pay airbus anything until the market does not improve...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:47

      But are you sure? Varadi said they will get orders like before

      Delete
    4. Nemjee09:54

      Don't know about new orders but I read online that they will be returning some older A320s. if they are slowing down or stopping the arrival of new aircraft then it could mean some of their bases will shrink. I guess we will have to wait and see how things develop in the coming months especially what changes comes to their winter timetable.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous10:53

      "they are begging governments almost everywhere to pay most of their wages right now; it was just pathetic how they did it in Germany..."

      Do Wizz Air have a base in Germany we don't know about?

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11:57

      Yes, in Vienna

      Delete
    7. Anonymous12:07

      Oh, Vienna is in Germany now?

      I knew I should have paid more attention in geography class in school.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous12:58

      They are in the EU which is run by Germany :D

      Delete
  7. Anonymous09:12

    I feel sorry for those that will be affected. i know some of their crew here in Skopje. They are all great people.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous09:14

    Crazy. Hope they don't shrink in ex-Yu. They are the biggest airline in Bosnia and Macedonia and second biggest in Serbia. They play a really important role on all the markets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:23

      +1 we need them

      Delete
  9. Anonymous09:15

    265 pilots, 700 cabin crew members and 40 office staff made redundant. Others are safe but will have their salaries reduced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:22

      Thay would indicate they are going to cut flights big time.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:23

      *that

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:42

      They can always hire them back once all this is over. Not like they can get a job elsewhere.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:50

      All this will take at least 2-3 years to be truly over.

      Delete
  10. Anonymous09:22

    Sad

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous09:23

    Kutaisi must be their weakest base. most of the routes are discontinued between jan and apr

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:51

      Kutaisi is fully subsidized by the Georgian government.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:05

      its obv not enough.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:06

      subsidies doesnt mean profitable flights. when will all understand

      Delete
    4. Anonymous13:13

      Yes but they are not loss making either. Subsidies are covering all the costs

      Delete
    5. Anonymous14:35

      thats why they cancelled 90% of the routes. ^^

      Delete
    6. Anonymous15:03

      Dear they cancelled because the one paying their expenses no longer wanted to do it.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous17:20

      only routes to Georgia are cut

      Delete
    8. Anonymous06:26

      Makes sense, it was all about low yielding tourists and average sector length was really long.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous09:28

    So much for what Varadi said last week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:38

      He is like a politician.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous09:38

    Really bad news.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous09:39

    They are still in the best position comparing to other European airlines. The fact that they are taking this action shows that they are exploring ways for them to survive and minimize losses. Meanwhile, others are mostly sitting on their behinds and sulking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous09:42

      Literally no airline is sitting idle, pure nonsense.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous09:43

      the rest will follow them as they followed them with their luggage policy

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:45

      @9.42 I don't know what the three national carriers OU, JU, YM are doing. Waiting for the government pay check.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous09:46

      You mean like Wizz Air followed Ryanair and easyJet with their luggage policy? At least other airline don't charge for hand luggage like Wizz Air does. Well one week they do one week they dont. No one can track anymore how often they change their minds lol

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:48

      JU reduced salaries by some 20%. There isn't much besides that they can do.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous10:54

      "There isn't much besides that they can do."

      Furlough? Redundancies?

      Easier to sit and wait for a bailout, I agree.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous11:58

      Well Wizz would be doing the same but they can't since no government finds them worthy enough to be given a bailout.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous11:59

      There is always the Hungarian government. They have been signing praises for Wizz Air over the past 2 weeks.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous12:17

      I don't see any government in Europe bailing out any airline's operations outside of their own country. Ireland won't pay for Ryanair base in Kaunas, Hungary won't pay for Wizz Air base in Kutaisi and UK won't pay for easyJet base in Italy.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous12:59

      They should though

      Delete
  15. Anonymous10:13

    My sympathies to all employees, especially to ex-Adria crew members who lost their jobs for the second time in 6 months! It will be next to impossible getting a job elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:49

      +1

      Delete
    2. Anonymous18:40

      lots of new applicants for the air forces of some countries

      Delete
    3. Anonymous19:18

      Which sane and professional air force anywhere in the world would take a pilot above the age of 25-30?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous20:45

      they are actually being hired or should I say re-hired, because of course we are talking guys who were military before going to line pilots. most of the times it's for VIP/presidential fleets and transport planes and helicopters. Lots of countries do so when they have shortages of staff. Of course they don't get hired for fast jet/combat pilot positions. Have also seen cases where civil helicopter pilots from oil-rig and HEMS posts rejoined the army helicopter units. So this is not quite uncommon. And of course not 60 year old pilots, but the guys younger under 45 are getting re-hired.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous20:47

      @Anonymous 18:40:
      If you don't have anything wise to say, it's better to keep quiet.


      Delete
    6. Anonymous21:30

      No military will hire expats, since there will be enough jobless local pilots on the market.

      Delete
  16. Anonymous10:49

    This is not going to end well.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous10:50

    Just to show how long this will go, here is this from Fitch

    Fitch Ratings has downgraded Wizz Air Holdings Plc's Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and senior unsecured rating to 'BBB-' from 'BBB'. The Rating Outlook on the Long-Term IDR is Negative. Fitch has also affirmed the airline's Short-Term IDR at 'F3'.

    The downgrade reflects our updated macroeconomic and global aviation industry expectations weakening Wizz Air's business and financial profile over the entire rating horizon. With a deep global recession in 2020 in Fitch's baseline forecast hitting air travel demand well beyond the ongoing restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, we now assume Wizz Air's revenue to recover to its fiscal year to March 2020 (FY20) level only during FY23 leaving financial leverage weak for the previous rating level.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:21

      They are worried about them because they don't have a safety net in the form of a government bailout.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous14:32

      BBB- is absolutely and utterly disastrous.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous17:42

      That's worrying. Aegean is private as well, but in a country that has been severely hit economy-wise and their downgraded rating is BB.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous17:46

      Yeah but unlike Wizz, Aegean has not introduced and rigflights leftht.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous18:06

      Aegean did not really expand beyond Greece and it's islands, they stuck to what they knew. Wizz Air wanted to become the new Ryanair so they started opening flights all over Europe and beyond. They even dreamed of sand dunes in Abu Dhabi before reality hit them and it's hitting them hard now. I wouldn't be surprised if they come out much smaller from this, they might even be on the verge of bankruptcy especially as those neos keep on arriving.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous19:17

      Wizz Air Abu Dhabi project is still alive appareantly.

      I doubt Wizz Air will go bankrupt - there are many airlines in much worse financial state taking far less cuts in these times.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous20:59

      AUH project will be the dead the moment Sheikh and his friends realize Wizz doesn't have a business class and what kind fo seatpitch they have XD

      Delete
    8. Anonymous22:02

      and the newly (by Etihad) formed Air Arabia Abu Dhabi has? lupetanje

      Delete
    9. Anonymous06:28

      Dear, the Etihad-Air Arabia deal seems to be dead, flights they loaded for June were removed even before corona virus spread throughout the world. Wizz Air on the other hand needs this new adventure in order to tap into new, lucrative markets that are underserved right now. They need to grow more and more to keep their business alive. There is nowhere to expand anymore in Europe. They are starting to launch really odd routes.

      Delete
  18. Anonymous10:51

    Wizz will be fine in the long run. I'm more concerned about some other airlines.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous12:07

    LCCs will be the ones hit mostly during this crisis. It is the LCCs passenger portfolio who will be more reluctant to travel following this pandemic. Legacy carriers would be able to find passengers more easily compared to LCC (smaller equipment, connecting passengers etc.), and the reduced no. of passenger all around Europe will force most of the low frequency routes (mostly operated by LCCs) to be cut. That will lead the travelers to switch to connecting flights via major hubs. LCC rise since beginning of the century is likely to see a pause for a couple of years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:15

      You forget that especially in exyu, a large chunk of LCC passengers are diaspora, who will be more than willing to travel to see their families after a few months.

      Also, a lot of people will still go on holidays, especially those who can now work from home and receive full salary. What will definitely reduce is business passengers, as more and more companies can see that a lot (not all) of business can be done remotely - online.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous14:19

    Crises like these show that there is a real need for a national airline. When this all ends BEG and ZAG will quickly recover thanks to national airlines standing behind them and the governments. What if Wizz goes bust, then across the Balkans many locations will take years until some other airline, or even a Wizz replacement carrier rises to the pre-COVID19 glory

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous14:31

      I think worst affected will be Tuzla which will close completely, like OSI, followed by SKP.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous22:11

      If there's demand high enough to make profit, there will be an airline to fly it.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:15

      Did you say that SKP will close? And when will that be?
      The stuff you read here.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous06:30

      How about you read more carefully before attacking others Anon 22.15. He said SKP will be most affected by Wizz cuts along with Tuzla since both airport almost exclusively rely on Wizz Air. I mean in SKP their marketshare is between 85% and 88%.

      Delete
  21. Anonymous16:54

    I see they have already reduced SKP-BVA from 3 to 2 weekly this winter season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:22

      it was always 2 summer or winter. stop with the fake news

      Delete
    2. Anonymous17:34

      It was increased to three last winter. You might have missed that MXP OHD was also turned into a seasonal route. Cuts have already begun. More to come for all of Balkans and beyond.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous22:02

      it was never 3 weekly

      Delete
    4. Anonymous06:31

      I literally flew on it last winter and it was 3. SMFH

      Delete
    5. Anonymous09:11

      you havent.

      SKP-BVA Nov: 3,082, Dec : 2,856 typically 2 weekly numbers

      3 weekly would be over 4000 like FMM etc

      Delete
  22. Anonymous19:17

    Sad. We need Wizz in this region.

    ReplyDelete

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