Eastern European low-cost carrier Wizz Air has halved its planned second-half growth in the UK as a “direct result” of the country’s recent vote to leave the European Union.

“The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has led to a notable weakness in fares (in euro terms) on routes to/from the UK mainly due to the much weaker British pound, which is currently 19% lower than the same period last year versus the euro. Wizz Air has already started readjusting its network due to this weakness and halving its intended second half growth to the UK and redeploying this capacity to other non-UK routes,” Wizz Air said at the release of its first-quarter results.

During the first quarter, Wizz Air announced 29 new routes and added three Airbus A321s to its fleet. This takes it to eight of the larger A320 family variant and a total of 70 aircraft, which will be boosted to 10 A321s and 73 aircraft overall by the end of the second quarter.

Across its whole network, Wizz Air was planning to add 18% capacity in the first half and 16% in the second. This had now changed to 16%-17% overall, made up of 17% in the first half and 14-16% in the second, although this will depend on market conditions.

“Despite continued downward pressure on unit revenues as lower fuel prices feed through to lower fares and weakness in the British pound, both operating margins and underlying net profit margins for the quarter are expected to be broadly in line with last year,” it said, repeating guidance for a €245-€255 million ($270.7-$281.8 million) full-year underlying net profit.

Victoria Moores, Victoria.moores@penton.com