The airline’s stock is in demand but directors seemingly don’t share investors’ optimism
Thursday 11 Mar 2021 Author: Yoosof Farah

The global pandemic may have slammed the aviation sector, with the emergence of new Covid variants providing a potential threat to the vaccine rollout and reopening of travel, but that hasn’t stopped shares in budget airline Wizz Air (WIZZ) hitting an all-time high.

The FTSE 250 carrier has traded above £50, its highest ever level, as investors look towards hopes of a ‘normal summer’ thanks to the vaccine rollout and the big accompanying recovery in earnings it could bring for travel firms, with clear pent-up demand for foreign holidays.

Wizz Air in particular is also in demand with investors as it makes more from ancillary revenue than any other airline, doesn’t have the same elevated level of borrowings as its peers. It has the highest exposure in the sector to the fastest growing economies in Europe.

But it seems Wizz Air directors don’t necessarily share all the optimism of their investors, with many including chief executive Jozsef Varadi taking the chance to offload sizeable stakes at elevated prices.

In the past few weeks, Varadi has sold 120,000 shares at a price of £53.17 each, netting him £6.4 million. Chief operating officer Diederik Pen has offloaded just under 18,500 shares at an even higher price of £54.17 in a deal worth £1 million.

Chief commercial officer George Michalopoulos has sold 5,000 shares at £52.99 in a transaction totaling £265,000, while chief corporate officer Marion Geoffroy has parted with 2,000 shares for £53.74 in a deal worth £107,000.

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