Wizz Air today revealed that it is able to tap into the UK government’s Covid-19 business support measures.

The Hungarian budget carrier, which operates a UK subsidiary, would join rival easyJet, which has secured £600 million through the government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF).

The Wizz Air disclosure to the London Stock Exchange followed Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson appealing for a state bailout believed to total £500 million.

The largest low-cost airline in central and eastern Europe said it has “received confirmation that it is an eligible issuer under the UK government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility.”

The carrier added: “Wizz Air remains focused on further strengthening the company’s robust balance sheet and excellent liquidity with €1.5 billion of cash at the end of March 2020, one of the strongest in the airline industry.”

The CCFF is designed to support liquidity among larger firms, helping them to bridge coronavirus disruption to cash flows through the purchase of short-term debt.

Wizz Air is making up to 1,000 job cuts in the face of a profits crunch of up to €80 million due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis over the past three months.

The carrier warned last week that its net profit for the year to March 31 would be down to between €270 million-€280 million from previous guidance of up to €355 million.

Traffic in March fell by 34% year-on-year while the airline is operating just 3% of its pre-Covid-19 capacity.