Wizz Air today joined budget rival Ryanair in warning of a slump in winter travel demand.

The eastern and central European carrier expects to operate only half of its normal capacity in October. 

The airline added: “Furthermore, should the level of restrictions remain at the current level, Wizz Air anticipates not to operate at a higher level of capacity during winter than its projection for October.”

The Wizz Air operational update followed Ryanair reporting November and December bookings at just 10% of normal volumes.

The Wizz Air comments came “in light of ongoing travel restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent drop in demand for travel during the winter period”. 

The Hungarian airline added: “The protection of its solid balance sheet and excellent liquidity position as well as minimising cost across all areas of the business remain Wizz Air’s top priority. 

The company has strongly improved its strategic position and its ability to respond to opportunities in its markets during the past six months. 

“While conditions continue to be challenging, the relentless focus on creating a competitive advantage and strong liquidity will allow Wizz Air to emerge from this crisis as a structural winner.”