Wizz Air’s EX-YU bases record strong growth
Low cost airline Wizz Air has posted impressive passenger growth from its bases in Belgrade and Skopje last year with the airline positioning itself as Serbia’s second busiest and Macedonia’s busiest carrier. Wizz Air handled almost 480.000 passengers to and from Belgrade, a share of 13.5% of all passengers using the airport. During 2013 Wizz Air based its second jet in the city and launched new flights. For 2014, the low cost airline plans to inaugurate services from Belgrade to Larnaca in Cyprus and resume seasonal flights to Sandefjord in Norway. At the same time, the no frills airline will suspend its seasonal flights to Rhodes and Corfu, leaving it with twelve destinations served from Belgrade this summer.
Wizz Air carried 380.000 passengers on flights to and from Skopje in 2013, an increase of 241% compared on the year before. During 2013, the airline opened several new routes from the Macedonian capital and it plans to continue growing this year. During 2014 Wizz Air will base a second aircraft in Skopje and launch flights to four new destinations - Beauvais, Hahn, Cologne and Charleroi. It will bring the total number of destinations served from the Macedonian capital to fourteen. Wizz’s Skopje base has performed better than the airline expected since it estimated it would carry 300.000 passengers last year. The low cost airline now has 38.6% of the market share in Skopje.
Wizz Air has seen passenger numbers rise by 12% in 2013 to 13.5 million. The airline plans to add eight 180 seat Airbus A320 aircraft this year to bring its fleet up to 53 jets. Its CEO, József Váradi, says, "We continue to bring low fares to new markets and are committed to growing our customer base in Europe and beyond. We now have over 300 routes to 35 countries on sale”. Besides Belgrade and Skopje, Wizz Air is also present in Tuzla as well as Split on a seasonal basis. The airline was instrumental in Ljubljana Airport’s passenger growth in 2013, with the airport now negotiating new flights with the low cost airline for 2014.