Wizz Air heading to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Early next month Wizz Air will start talks with Bosnian officials in order for the no frills airline to launch flights to the country in the summer of 2013, making it its fourth market within the former Yugoslavia. Talks will first be held with Mostar Airport, which was designated as a low cost airport by the government earlier this year. High ranking local and state officials, including Bosnia’s Minister for Transport and Communication, Enver Bijedić, met yesterday to discuss and prepare ahead of the planned talks with Wizz Air. All parties agreed for the state to give its support to Wizz Air and its planned Bosnian operations.
At this point, Wizz Air is considering launching flights to several cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, amongst which are Tuzla and Mostar, though some services will only operate on a seasonal summer basis. Earlier this year the airline held talks with Sarajevo Airport officials, however, they failed after the airport refused to slash its taxes for Wizz Air. The airport was worried that such a move would create a domino effect, thus forcing it to reduce taxes for its other customers as well. Sarajevo Airport is served by two low cost airlines - Germanwings and Norwegian Air Shuttle. Norwegian operates flights on a seasonal basis from Oslo and Stockholm while Germanwings maintains all year round flights from Cologne and Stuttgart.
With bases in Belgrade and Skopje, flights to Slovenia and seasonal services to the Croatian coast, Wizz Air has already established itself in the former Yugoslavia. The low cost airline is most likely to connect Bosnia with Sweden, which is home to a sizeable Bosnian diaspora. On the other hand, flights to Mostar would focus on carrying tourists making the pilgrimage to Medjugorje.