The collapse of air traffic in May due to Covid-19 travel restrictions saw Wizz Air carryings slump by more than 96%.

The Hungarian budget carrier flew just 126,549 passengers in the month against 3.4 million in the same period last year.

The airline’s monthly load factor dropped by 32.8 percentage points to 61.1%.

The new figures echo rival Ryanair which saw a 99.5% fall in May carryings.

However, Wizz Air maintained plans to expand its network by announcing four new bases in Milan, Larnaca, Lviv in Ukraine and Tirana in Albania from July 1 with 50 new routes.

The statistics emerged as Wizz Air took delivery of its first new Airbus A320neo. 

The 122nd aircraft the airline’s fleet is part of a 267-strong order for the new generation type as the carrier aims to cut its environmental footprint by 30% for every passenger until 2030.

Chief executive Jozsef Varadi said: “This new aircraft is a true symbol of our ultra low cost business model by delivering significant cost advantages as well as further lowering Wizz Air’s emissions.”

He also revealed in an Arabian Travel Market interview that the airline should be able to reflect its growth in Europe over 15 years with 100 aircraft operating from its new Abu Dhabi offshoot in the same period of time.

“You should be looking at our platform, not necessarily just Abu Dhabi, we want to serve the UAE and possibly the broader GCC markets.”