Wizz Air started the new year with an 81% fall in carryings.

The Hungarian budget carrier flew 573,692 passengers in January against more than 3.1 million in the same month last year.

The load factor fell by 29.2 percentage points year-on-year to 61% while capacity was cut by 73% to 940,410 seats.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and global travel restrictions is highlighted in the airline’s rolling 12 month figures, showing passenger numbers down by more than half to 19.7 million against 43.1 million in the equivalent period to January 2020.

However, Wizz Air continued to expand its network in January with the start of operations in Abu Dhabi with an inaugural flight to Athens.