Wizz Air has reported a net loss of €116 million for the three months to December 31st as the Covid-19 pandemic took a huge toll on aviation.

The low-cost carrier saw profits of €21 million for the same period last year.

Wizz carried 2.2 million passengers over the period, down from over ten million during the same period of 2019.

Revenue for the third quarter slumped to €150 million, down from €637 million for the same quarter in the prior year.

Load factors also fell from 93 per cent to 63 per cent over the period.

József Váradi, Wizz Air chief executive, said: “Wizz Air continued to focus on strengthening its market position and protecting liquidity during the third quarter of financial 2021, where sustained government restrictions severely obstructed air travel.

“At the end of the quarter total cash balance stood at €1.2 billion.

“The company has relentless discipline on cost and cash management whilst maximizing cash returns on the flights it operated.”

Looking ahead, however, Váradi struck a similar tone to Ryanair, arguing there would be opportunities for those best placed to exploit them.

“Wizz Air is even better positioned to deal with the uncertainties associated with Covid-19 and now with vaccinations being rolled out across our key markets we believe 2021 will be a transition year out of the Covid-19 crisis,” he said.

“The initiatives we are implementing in our business have a very singular focus: enabling the Company to emerge from the Covid-19 context as a structural winner. 

“Our ambition is to fully restart our operations as soon as travel restrictions reduce, at all times protecting the health of customers and employees.”