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Reuters/Andrew Boyers
Ready for takeoff.

How Europe’s low-cost airlines are surviving the pandemic without billion-dollar bailouts

John Detrixhe
Member exclusive by John Detrixhe

As a devastated European airline industry looks to ramp up flights next month, low-cost carrier Wizz Air is soaring higher than the rest.

The Budapest-based company’s stock has gained more than 40% since the middle of March, when the spreading coronavirus pandemic forced most airlines in Europe to sit on the tarmac.

To protect the industry and stave off job losses, government officials have poured billions of dollars of support into major airlines like Germany’s Lufthansa and Franco-Dutch company Air France-KLM. Despite immense aid specifically for the flag carriers, investors appear more optimistic about the prospects for Wizz, whose stock has outperformed other major European airlines this year.

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