Wizz Air passenger numbers soar in May as new routes added

Wizz Air has reported soaring passenger numbers for May, as the discount operator opened new flight routes.

The FTSE 250 airline business saw passenger numbers for the month leapt 22.4% to 3.4 million, from 2.8 million in May 2018.

Passenger numbers for the 12 months to the end of May 2019 also jumped, up 17.1% to 35.7 million compared with the same period last year.

The airline, which predominantly operates in central and eastern Europe, saw growth driven by its route network expansion which saw it launch nine new routes, to destinations in Poland and Ukraine.

It was also buoyed by the opening of a new Polish base in Krakow, with three Airbus A320 family aircraft deployed at the site.

Wizz Air also saw its seat numbers increase 19.8% in May to 3.7 million, as it was boosted by the new routes.

Last month, the Hungarian-based company posted a 4.5% jump in pre-tax profits to 300 million euros (£265.7 million) during the year to March 31.

It has withstood recent turbulence in the airline industry, delivering a 19.6% increase in revenues to 2.3 billion euros (£2 billion) for the year.

The rising price of fuel has hit the bottom line of several travel operators, with easyJet and Tui both revealing last month that they had slumped to losses due to rising costs.

Wizz Air also announced last month that it will have more seats available for passengers travelling from Luton Airport this summer than any other airline.

This summer, it will add two new planes to its UK fleet, taking the total to 11.

Shares in the company rose 2% to 3,339p in early trading on Tuesday.