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Wizz Air speeds ahead with fast passenger growth as Ryanair sees modest rise

Shares rose at both budget airlines after both reported decent passenger growth over the last month

Wizz Air Holdings -

European budget airline Wizz Air Holdings (LON:WIZZ) grew traffic faster than larger rival Ryanair Holdings PLC (LON:RYA) last month.

In a November update on Tuesday, Wizz Air said it flew 23.9% more passengers in November, taking its total to 3mln, with the launch of 11 new routes in the period.

Competitor Ryanair’s operations are almost four times this size, reporting traffic of 11mln in the past month or growth of 6%.

Last year, the airline set a target to fly 200mln passengers a year by 2024 and the rolling total is now at 151.6mln.

Central and Eastern Europe-focused Wizz, meanwhile, added that it managed to trim 3.5% off its carbon grams emitted per passenger, per km, but overall tonnage increased 20% to 279,387 tonnes.

Its new routes covered Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, United Kingdom, and Ukraine.

Both airlines were marked to get a boost when Thomas Cook went under in September, freeing up market share.

Last week, Credit Suisse warned that Ryanair may need to put the brakes on its expansion plans to meet profitability targets, keeping the airline at an ‘underperform’ rating.

“We think the key to RYA doing this will be capacity growth and think it would be considerably more likely if it were to abandon its 200m [passenger] target”, CS said.

In early trading, Ryanair’s shares rose 1% to 13.8p, and Wizz Air’s got a 0.6% lift to 3,972p.

Quick facts: Wizz Air Holdings

Price: 3312 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £3.41 billion

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