Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wizz Air to skip Sarajevo

Taxes pose obstacle for Wizz Air’s Sarajevo endeavour
The general director of Sarajevo Airport, Ivan Veličan, has confirmed that talks between the airport and the low cost airline Wizz Air have collapsed. “We were in negotiations with Wizz Air, however, all of the low cost companies place great demands upon the airport”, the general director says. He adds that Wizz will avoid the Bosnian capital for the time being due to taxes. However, Veličan explains that if the airport was to reduce taxes for Wizz Air it would have to do so for all other airlines, which wouldn’t be viable. He notes that the airport’s only source of income is the passenger services tax which amounts to 18 euros. Sarajevo is not entirely without no frills airlines. Both Germanwings and Norwegian Air Shuttle operate flights to Bosnia’s busiest airport, although both are now classified as semi low cost carriers.

Several weeks ago it was announced that a low cost airline was looking into launching flights to Sarajevo from London, Rome, Dusseldorf as well as Sweden, with Wizz Air tipped as being the interested party. The low cost Vienna based Niki also recently announced it was looking into launching flights to Sarajevo after crunching its numbers. Since then there has been no news on the possible new service.

Despite the absence of low cost airlines, Sarajevo has been enjoying a bounty of charter flights this summer season along with Mostar Airport. The vast majority carry Christian pilgrims visiting the Medjugorje sight. The Lebanese national carrier Middle East Airlines operates a one weekly charter service from Beirut with its Airbus A321. Furthermore, Sarajevo Airport has also seen a boom in charter flights from Turkey this season. Veličan says that today Sarajevo is served from more destinations than ever before. However, he notes that Sarajevo must also develop into a tourist destination in order to see sustainable growth. “All air traffic here is based on visits from our diaspora as well as employees from international organizations whose number used to be much larger”, the general director concludes.

24 comments:

  1. At least they are launching a Skopje base soon.

    Stay tuned.

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  2. Pax tax is not only source of income , there is landing/handling fee which is arround 2000 euro/flight + in average 130-140 pax in every flight which will drink overpriced drinks on airport and buy something on duty free shop-s. Again stupidnes on act.

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    1. True Igore.

      Nowadays, successful and modern airports have 60-70% of their revenue coming from ancillary sources - parking and airport-based businesses. Something that just doesn't compute in the minds of South Eastern Europeans.

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    2. Why don't other countries get clowns such as this Velican in important public roles? What's wrong with us Bosnians? Might be a genetic thing or something in the food we eat? This is really embarrassing and a good few circles of hell worse than anything you find in Serbia or Croatia, perhaps even Montenegro. He has no idea what he is talking about and he is still proudly talking about it. Or maybe it is a simple case of "what's in it for me." These WizzAir people might have foolishly failed to offer bribes for this idiot and whoever owns him politically.

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  3. LH1411, TK1081/2, SU2090/1. All three are A321 today @ BEG :)

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    1. Yes! Quite a lot of A321s in Belgrade these days! Turkish Airlines has some really nice offers to Europe from Belgrade. For example you can fly from BEG to Europe via IST for only €300!

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    2. ONLY €300? u r kidding, right? :)))

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    3. I am not kidding. Do not forget that the price includes taxes and a total of 4 flights, meaning that it amounts to less than €100 per sector. Personally I think that it is a good deal, especially taking into account the quality of TK. For those who wish to pay less there is Wizz Air ;)

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    4. Regarding the A321's - add to that AZ594/7. A great day, isn't it? :)

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    5. Maybe it is because of May 1st and the long holiday?

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    6. Lufthansa sent an A320 to BEG not an A321 .. ^ and maybe or maybe not, on days where there are more pax then others, which occurs a lot in BEG, usually A321's are sent...

      And Lufthansa is sending Avro jets to BEG from MUC, is that an increase in capacity compared to the CRJ900 and ERJ190?

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    7. We were referring to the morning departure of LH. That flight arrived the previous night and was operated by an A321. Both flights from FRA were operated by A320s today.
      The Avro seats 96 passengers so more than the CRJ but just a bit less than the jungle jet.

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    8. Alitalia too? Wow! Great! :) I wish they could split one A321 departure in two smaller planes (ie A319/Embraers) on two different departures with different times, making more possibilities for connections. That is AZ and SU. Just like TK did.
      4 A321 in one day. Thats like approx. 1300 pax only on 7 flights (3 returning) :)

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    9. Alitalia does not have any interest to make Belgrade double daily as it codeshares on Jat's morning flight, which is timed in such a way in order to enable connections in Rome.
      As long as this deal is in place we will not see them launching flights.

      The only possibility is for them to have an early afternoon flight (dep. BEG at around 12:00). However I do not see this happening until the World Economic Crisis is in place.

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    10. Aeroflot and Turkish Airlines are sending in their A321s to Belgrade today.

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  4. Does anyone in my country, BiH, have any sense for business, I mean seriously, they rather have an empty airport (or empty airports BNX, OMO, TZL and SJJ) than to think little bit further than "tomorrow". Really tired of reading getting bad news from Bosnia.

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    1. I so much agree with you. The stubbornness and stupidity don't have the limits there. That's how it is when the country is led by a bunch of villagers.

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    2. Rural background....

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  5. "both are now classified as semi low cost carriers"

    I disagree with that definition. I would say that both germanwings and Norwegian are low-cost carriers, while the likes of Wizz Air and Ryanair are ultra-low cost carriers. If the ULCCs were the only ones that counted as LCCs, we wouldn't have many LCCs in the world.

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    1. Agreed. I'd add easyJet to the first ones, as well.

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  6. Good on SJJ for holding out. We are slowly seeing airports and authorities right across Europe reacting to the often unreasonable demands of LCCs (problems with FR abound for example), and someone needs to pay to keep the airports maintained, cleaned etc - even if they aren't getting any flights in!

    That said, SJJs taxes and rates are really too high for the region... are they the highest?

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    1. I agree that someone needs to pay to keep the airport maintained, cleaned etc but you cannot charge one of the highest fees in Europe and invest nothing and pay your workers pennies. It's Bosnia, not Switzerland for God's sake.

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    2. I think SJJ has taxes in range with BEG and ZAG. The problem with SEE airports are the unreasonably high taxes. In order to become economically viable, they have to increase demand.. but demand cannot be increased with such prices. Only solution is:
      - to change the management e.g. select the people based on references and capabilities, and not based on political qualification
      - to change the procedures and mindset, which will be hard; engage consulting company at least
      - lower taxes e.g. make airport attractive as possible; the government should subside the airport until the break-even passenger load is achieved

      I don't think it will happen anytime soon.

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    3. @Bojan

      "select the people based on references and capabilities"? But how will I be able to hire my brother's wife's sister's mom and where will the incentive be to join a nationalist political party? That is just crazy talk...

      Delete

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