- Low-cost carrier Wizz Air said it was making 1,000 positions redundant and would return 32 older leased aircraft, having grounded most of its fleet due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The Budapest-based company said it expected to report an underlying net profit for the year through March 2020 in line with its latest guidance range of €350m-to-€355m.

However, exceptional losses of €70-to-€80m related to hedging losses meant its bottom line net profit would come in at €270m-to-€280m.

'Despite its best efforts, the company is taking the difficult step to make 1,000 positions redundant, representing a 19% workforce reduction,' Wizz Air said.

'Additional employee furlough measures have also been and will be taken in the short term as necessitated by the travel restrictions due the Covid-19 pandemic.'

For the 2021 financial year, senior manager and director pay had been cut by 22%, while the salaries of pilots, cabin crew and office staff would be cut by 14% on average.

Wizz Air said it was currently operating 3% of its pre-Covid-19 capacity. The 32 older leased aircraft would be returned by the end of the 2023 financial year as existing lease contracts expired.

Wizz Air said it had a 'very strong balance sheet and excellent liquidity' with €1.5bn of cash at the end of March.

'We have taken various initiatives to protect the position of the company in a controlled manner during the COVID-19 pandemic and are reviewing the competitiveness and allocation of the assets of the company,' chief executive Jozsef Varadi said.

'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.'

At 9:01am: [LON:WIZZ] Wizz Air Holdings PLC share price was +42p at 2778p

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