Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wizz Air to open Belgrade base

Wizz Air to base aircraft in Belgrade
Eastern Europe’s largest low cost airline, Wizz Air, will open its thirteenth base at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport on April 1, 2011, the airline’s CEO, Jozsef Varadi, announced yesterday in Belgrade. One of the airline’s Airbus A320s will be based at Serbia’s main airport operating flights to Dortmund, London-Luton, Rome, Malmo, Memmingen, Eindhoven and Stockholm-Skavsta. Flights to Dortmund and London, which commenced this summer, have been extremely successful with cabin loads exceeding 90% per flight. The no frills airline will commence flights to Belgrade from Rome and Malmo in Sweden from December. These flights will originate from Belgrade once the A320 is based at the airport in April. Flights to Stockholm, Memmingen and Eindhoven in the Netherlands will begin between April 1 and 3.

At a press conference in Belgrade, Varadi announced that between thirty to forty workers from Serbia will be employed by the airline. “It is our goal to become the leading airline in Serbia”, he said. He also believes the new move will have a positive impact on the Serbian economy. It is anticipated that Wizz Air will carry some 300.000 passengers to and from Serbia in 2011.

All flight details for the new services can be found on the right hand side in the new route launches section.

44 comments:

  1. Very healthy for local competition!
    Lets see what will "big ones" do now!

    Spotlight now on JAT!

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  2. Can't agree more with Duchess. However I think that they could have waited a bit longer for this move until Jat is back firmly on their feet. However this might speed up the whole 'rebirth' process of Jat.
    I am just curious about Malmö... it's so close to Copenhagen and we already have Jat and Cimber flying. Good thing is that we will see them dropping prices now, especially Cimer who is a low cost yet charges 200 euros for a CPH-BEG

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  3. And this is why competition is good - if sustainable, everyone wins: passengers, workers and management who have to actually do the right thing to keep their job!

    Good on W6, let's see them also do the same to shake things up with OU at ZAG once they are comfortable in BEG.

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  4. Great to have more competition and jobs. Although, when it comes to JU I think the routes Wizz has chosen will not affect them too much. I mean the airport Wizz is using in Stockholm is 100km from the actual city. The type of people that use Jat on this route probably wouldn’t bother to fly with Wizz with all the baggage restrictions (remember Serbs pack tonnes when they travel). Same goes for the Munich flights. It’s similar with the London route that they fly. It’s great for young people and young Brits but I doubt many passengers gave up JU and BA for Wizz which arrive at Luton at midnight. The only route where we will see real competition is Rome.

    So my opinion is that Wizz will bring totally different type of passengers to BEG which is great. JU does need to do something to lure passengers and if I was in their shoes I would count myself lucky for the time being with these destinations.

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  5. Welcome to Belgrade, Wizz Air.

    As for the competition, Wizz Air operates for a different group, flies to different airports. I dont think their base will impact JAT too much.

    Best of luck to Wizz Air in Belgrade :)

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  6. Agree... the routes are totally different. What I would like to see is Belgrade-Montenegro! Wasn't there an article some time ago how they tried to get more low cost to MNE? Well here we have the perfect opportunity! I would love to see that happen as Montenegro Airlines would suffer there! If Jat didn't manage to destroy them then let Wizz do it!
    As for the passengers, I agree with you again. I would always pay a bit more to fly Jat or any other airline that has decent times and actually flies to the airport inthe city...

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  7. ^A low cost between Belgrade and Montenegro won’t happen in the near future purely because of Montenegro Airlines and the extreme protectionist policies of the Montenegro Government, although I'm a bit surprised that all of MGX's flights to Belgrade from 30 OCT have been cleared from Amadeus. Something to do with their agreement with JU perhaps?

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  8. Just a note on Stockholm-Skavsta. It's a very pleasant airport. Super polite staff and super efficient baggage delivery. I even slept there overnight once! Price to downtown by bus is the same as Arlanda Express. The ride is no more than 40mins even in snowy winter.

    I mean, sometimes people really underestimate the advantages of these small airports.

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  9. Fantastic news. Why though according to Anonymous 2 does the Luton flight arrive at midnight, it seems absolutely absurd. To the EX YU aviation, can you get rid of the 'Anonymous' option for posts? Is it that hard for people to enter a name? It makes it difficult to quote posts or refer to posters.

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  10. Hello everyone, I am delighted to bits about this!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome HEALTHY competition to Serbia and lets hope to the rest of the Balkans. As for SECOND anonymous, obviously you are not updated about Wizzair. Luggage is certainly not an issue with them anymore as after you pay 13euros/£ for check IN luggage you can carry up to 32kg(more than enough even for Serbs and other BALKANCI, zar ne??!) At this very moment they are the best for the luggage "restrictions". Even I managed to pack within 30 kg and was ever so happy to pay nothing extra at Luton airport like I have done with JAT, Croatia Airlines and BA million times before...... And I agree about Stockholm Skavsta(traveled there with FR), I was quicker by the coach in Stockholm for Skavsta than I am with London Underground at Heathrow from lets say North London. It is just absurd how people talk about something which they don't know anything about. At the end of the day, not EVERYONE lives in Stockholm, what about people from other cities who will find Skavsta more convenient than Arlanda/Vasteras/Bromma. For some people Stansted is not good but for me is the best if I exclude London City Airport, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't fly from another airports if I find good deals which I have done.

    As someone said, I also wish to see
    W6 on Serbia-MNE route but chances for that are small because of things other people have mentioned.

    And again, this is more than great news and as I said yesterday, can't wait to see more destination from BEG to other countries, maybe Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, another UK city, Spain,..... Maybe they get interested in INI, OHD, BNX, SKP, SJJ, OMO too :-) who knows... I am aloud to be positive and optimistic :-)

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  11. Great news for BEG and Serbia
    i am waiting so much to heat at least an idea of Wizz Air Macedonia.

    after maybe flights to Rome/Paris/London

    This will be for sure succsess.

    regards
    and again congr to BEG for new flights

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  12. Aleksandar(imenjace) I really hope we gonna see something like that soon, can you imagine flying from BEG to OHD in summer for 40 euros
    :-) or BNX to TIV, or ZAG to OHD, anyway at least something is happeing and it is positive for sure, so lets hope for even better stuff to come :-)

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  13. This is goin gto be interesting. If they open a base, it´s going to be easier to put new airplanes in, and expand their network. I can´t wait!

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  14. The Government of Montenegro can maintain the Montenegro Airlines/JAT protectionist duopoly on the BEG-TIV and BEG-TGD routes all they want, but if Wizz Air launches flights on the BEG-DBV route that will present an easy and affordable alternative -- especially for those passengers traveling to the Bay of Kotor. Before 1991, during summer peak season there used to be at least 6-8 daily flights between Belgrade and Dubrovnik, and *maybe* only one flight daily between Belgrade and Tivat. So it seems to me that it is just a matter of time until someone starts operating the Belgrade-Dubrovnik route again, which will no doubt be both very lucrative and very sought after. I hope that someone will be Wizz Air since they operate safe and comfortable brand new aircraft and provide their services at a very reasonable price.

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  15. Actually it is weird that there are no flights to Montenegro after October... I don't see how the agreement with JU might impact them. I mean they said that they will coordinate their flights not withdraw completely from the market. I think Montenegro Airlines will rather shoot themselves in the food then leave the Serbian market...

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  16. Last anonymous, SPOT ON, I have absolutely nothing to add! Fingers crossed :-)

    Dio salvi Wizzair e altri LCC :-)

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  17. I ment the anonymous before the last one, but the last one (before myself) has made a good point!

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  18. I have only one thing to add actually, would have been more interesting if W6 chose CIA over FCO, just to add a choice from Belgrade to Rome, CIA is even closer to the city centre and Jat and Alitalia fly to FCO. Only a thought
    :-)

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  19. I agree too - CIA would be definitely better, but never mind... If the FCO route proves to be profitable with good CLFs (and it surely will) then WZZ could experiment in the future and maybe add 2-4 more weekly flights to CIA.
    And, btw, if they can place one plane at BEG and make a small base here, they sure can do the same with two or three more planes when the right time comes.
    The next best thing is to open at least 2 daily flights to DBV, that would literally destroy MGXs and JATs BEG-TIV route and therefore make them cut down their prices.
    Next to come with at least 2 weekly flights Nice, Basel, Lisbon/Porto, Girona, Palermo... with 4-5 weekly Hahn, Paris, Split/Zadar (summer time)... and of course 2-3 daily flights to Dubrovnik...

    Anyways, thats great news for both BEG and WZZ. I'm sure will see new WZZ destinations and definitely more carriers ;)

    For now, BEG should try and become strong regional hub with good connecting times and maybe, how knows, itll see some North America routes too...hopefully in the near future...with EKs help :D

    Cheers!

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  20. Great is the only word for new W6 destinations out of BEG!

    Hope BGY will be added soon, surprised not even this time...
    And from there and/or MXP, there are so many LCC connections across entire Europe. Soon we can explore some new places around Europe over a weekend break for a reasonable price, if booked in advance.

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  21. Last news from airport Dubrovnik:
    261.159 passengers of August 2010, hit the airport record.

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  22. Wonderful news. But when oh when oh when will we see low budget flights between the two best cities in Europe - Belgrade and Berlin?

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  23. This is very good news indeed. This will create a more competitive market which will only bring better prices for Serbs. I am sure that Wizz Air also plans on bringing additional aircraft to Belgrade, making it indeed a regional hub for continental transportation. But I would also like to see intercontinental transport take place. Belgrade is quickly becoming a regional hub and that is certain, but imagine if it has routes to North/South America. Would the low prices it has to offer, big companies like Swiss Air and Lufthansa would have to adjust to that new market potential. I cannot wait for a Belgrade-NY or a Belgrade-Chicago flight.

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  24. and don't forget belgrade-toronto :) greetings from canada!

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  25. TAP Portugal adds Spanair codeshare to Belgrade
    Posted: 02 Sep 2010 12:09 AM PDT
    TAP Portugal’s “TP” code is now appearing on Spanair’s Barcelona – Belgrade service.
    Codeshare flight numbers below:
    Route TP Codeshare JK Operating
    Barcelona – Belgrade TP8410 JK171
    Belgrade – Barcelona TP8411 JK172

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  26. I've been following this site for quite a while, great info on Balkan aviation. Wizz Air will make a great addition to BEG.

    Question, does anyone have any info on the news that Emirates will use BEG as a regional hub, and launch flights to North America?

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  27. this site had info posted on that issue you are referring to above a long time ago. apparently, the economic crisis has delayed the start of operations. i would just look for info on google, the belgrade airport site, or the emirates site. hope this helps :)

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  28. That was just made up trash from a Serbian newspaper. You won’t be seeing EK in Belgrade for some time and certainly not them starting flights to North America. A newspaper just concluded that on the basis that Serbia and the UAE signed a bilateral air agreement. Macedonia signed one with Qatar but you don’t see Qatar Airways flying to New York from Skopje. Serbia also signed one with Australia recently.

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  29. To be honnest I do not think if Wizzair launches Dubrovnik that it will impact Jat that much, however it will probably destroy Montenegro. Tivat and that area has developped quite a lot since the break up of Yugoslavia and is far more attractive than before. That said, Jat has an advantage and that it has a lot of connecting passengers to and from Tivat. When I was flying to Copenhagen a few months ago at least 20 passengers were Danes coming from Tivat.
    As far as I go, Wizzair should launch flights to Dubrovnik as only Montenegro Airlines will suffer in the case.

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  30. The recent agreement between Jat and Montenegro, could it have something to do with Wizzair coming to Belgrade and having Dubrovnik in their plans?

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  31. Why on earth would Wizz Air destroy anyone if they fly to Dubrovnik? Serbs that go to Montenegro don’t go there to stay at a hotel. They go to their holiday houses or friends, relatives etc. So why would they go to Dubrovnik? What are they going to do from there? Rent a car to go to Montenegro? Waste money on petrol? Go through some of the worst roads in Europe? What’s the point. Some people really need to get a grip on reality. How would it be economically viable for Wizz Air to fly to Dubrovnik 3 times a day with an A320?

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  32. Wizz Air can only expand so far at BEG at the moment. Its not like an airline can suddenly open routes and boom there are mass pax. It takes time for routes to become profitable, short haul always quicker than long haul. I think Wizz will just open these routes and see how they do and how the market treats them before having another ac based in BEG. Having said that, will Wizz form Wizz Air Serbia and register aircraft in Serbia? I think Serbian law requires them to at least have 2 ac to form as an airline in Serbia. We shall see i guess :)

    As for DBV and Croatian destinations, i dont see anything happening there until the politics in both countries change. So far, between the 2 countries we only have ZAG-PRN flights with OU. BEG-SPU and DBV should of opened a long time ago, along with ZAG.

    JAT shouldnt have problems and should focus on trying to attract more transfer pax. Maybe IKA, BGW for example. BEG as a hub needs improvement too.

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  33. @ anonymous

    Besides this, the risk of having a damaged car when driving certain registrations, Croatian border police making problems, even refusing entry, because your ID is written in Serbian...

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  34. In order to avoid to name bloggers as ANONYMOUS #1, 2, 3 and 4 is this not better that everybody's got a nickname?

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  35. Wow, 35 replies including this one :)
    What would be if for example Delta announced introduction of JFK-BEG route? :))))

    Yes, actually, BEG-DBV route would be more than profitable and at least with 3 daily flights!! Don't forget that the Serbs are willing to go to Dubrovnik on holidays, plus 15euro bus service Dubrovnik-Herceg novi isn't that expensive with favorable air tickets! If that is to happen, then TIV would serve only for travelers who go to Budva, Becici etc...keep that in mind!

    BTW - I flew with MGX 3 weeks ago to TIV and while I was buying the ticket they said that they don't usually sell on-line tickets out of the current season...maybe that is the reason why there are no information about winter 2010/2011 schedule at Amadeus.

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  36. "Anonymous said...
    Why on earth would Wizz Air destroy anyone if they fly to Dubrovnik? Serbs that go to Montenegro don’t go there to stay at a hotel. They go to their holiday houses or friends, relatives etc. So why would they go to Dubrovnik? What are they going to do from there? Rent a car to go to Montenegro? Waste money on petrol?"

    I'm the one who posted the comment about the pre-1991 flights to Dubrovnik. For the record, the distance from Dubrovnik Airport to Herceg Novi is 25 km. Prior to 1991, the transfer took 30 minutes. Now that there is an international border crossing between Montenegro and Croatia, it usually takes 10 or 15 minutes longer. The road is excellent and was fully renovated on the Croatian side a few years ago (as was the border crossing). For the sake of comparisons, it usually takes about 1 hour to get from Herceg Novi to Tivat Airport, as long as there are no major delays on the Kamenari-Lepetani ferry. As far as I'm concerned, I'd be very happy to have the choice of paying 30 euros for a BEG-DBV flight, as opposed to paying 100 euros on the Montenegro/JAT duopoly for a one-way flight to Tivat. Finally, please note that a few weeks ago the Governments of Croatia and Montenegro signed an agreement allowing Montenegrin buses to legally drop off passengers at Dubrovnik Airport, so it is just a matter of time until a regular bus service is established between Dubrovnik Airport and Herceg Novi.

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  37. I still can't get over the fact that Jat almost started flights to Dubrovnik! Such a shame...
    The Atr's are just so perfect for those coastal flights!!

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  38. @ JU500

    3 daily, hahaha, and with what ac? ATR42? Let there be a daily direct to any Croatian city from BEG and then lets talk about multiple dailies. I dont see it happening with Wizz, but maybe a thing they could look into is the BEG-ZAG route. Would be intresting if they will connect with BUD and/or SOF, 2 other Wizz hubs.

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  39. no way that Sofia will be connected. They only have two planes there, far from enough. Budapest might work but doubt it. If they were to connect any hub in Eastern Europe it would be Prague...
    As far as Dubrovnik goes I don't think there is a need to have more than a daily flight in summer especially if they have a deal with some tourist agency. Unfortunately I think they will not expand into the Ex-Yu lands as those dont seem to be a priority for any airline from that region.

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  40. i don't know if u know that BEG-AMS is codeshare flight JU & KL

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  41. Yes, they have been codesharing for quite some time now.
    If the flights continue to be such a success then I wonder if next summer we might see additional flights. Maybe by then they could separate the Brussels flights from Amsterdam. I think the problem with Beussels is that the 737-300 is too big for the route, ah if only they had an E-170 in their fleet! ah ah

    ps is this the all time record for posts?

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  42. @last anonymous
    yeap, I would say it is :)
    42 till now :D
    Belgrade is definitely the center of attention these days :))) lol

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  43. @Anonymous interested in BEG - BER:

    this is what I would be affraid of if I were Jat manager in charge of BER. The moment some low cost airline starts flying BER-BEG vv., the CLF (which is anyway way below average) will drop to such extent that we'll be seeing flights being cancelled for lack of PAX... At least as an initial impact. After some time, JU prices would follow, as they did w/ STR (4U competition).

    About the only adventage of JU is FBA, which is 30KG + 10KG Hand luggage.

    BRGDS to all,
    Another Anonymous

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  44. The more competition, the lower the prices for Serbian and other travelers!
    Congratulations to WZZ on the choice of new routes from Belgrade.
    Maybe Paris Beauvais and Milan Bergamo are missed out for this round of introduction 2 times per week, at least for a try, but lets wait and see.
    Some route may drop and other ones may be introduced later.
    Just excellent, WizzAir!

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